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Saturday, December 04, 2021

Delhi Confidential: Counting Losses

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has asked party general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal to call a meeting of Telangana leaders.

New Delhi |
November 11, 2021 3:29:13 am
Congress president Sonia Gandhi

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has asked party general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal to call a meeting of Telangana leaders, including state unit chief Revanth Reddy and AICC general secretary in charge Manickam Tagore, to discuss the defeat of the party candidate in the Huzurabad bypoll. This comes in the backdrop of a section of party leaders blaming the former state leadership for the humiliating defeat of party candidate B V Narsing Rao, who could garner only 3,012 votes. According to them, former state minister Eatata Rajender, who won the bypoll on a BJP ticket, was keen to join Congress after his fall-out with Chief Minister and TRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao. However, the then Congress leadership in the state did not pursue the matter effectively. With Congress performing poorly, an upset Sonia Gandhi now wants an explanation.

Delhi Visit

With the BJP changing two chief ministers – in Karnataka and Gujarat – in the recent past, any chief minister’s visit to Delhi for meetings with the party’s national leadership triggers speculation. Now that the party has faced a severe setback in the Himachal Pradesh bypolls, the buzz that Jai Ram Thakur is visiting Delhi later this week for some meetings has set off rumours that there would be a change of guard in the state, where assembly elections are scheduled in 2022. However, party leaders said Thakur would be coming to discuss with the central leaders strategies which they said would require a review in the backdrop of the bypoll results.

Helping Hand

When he met his council of ministers after the July 7 Cabinet revamp, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked the new ministers to consult their predecessors in the respective ministries – whether they are still ministers or not. So, all ministers have had multiple rounds of meetings with their respective predecessors to understand the functioning of their department. But one minister who still continues to take advice regularly from his predecessor is the Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal. Sources said Sonowal keeps consulting Mansukh Mandaviya, who was moved to Health and Family Welfare, for guidance in his ministry. Mandaviya apparently happily lends his support to his successor in the ministry.

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