In February 2016, Rahul Gandhi surprised everyone by visiting Jawaharlal Nehru University to meet students protesting against the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar. Many in the Congress had in private conversations then wondered what the party would achieve by Rahul’s gesture. Now, more than 24 hours have passed since Delhi Police filed a chargesheet naming Kumar and some others and Rahul — now Congress president — is yet to make a public comment on the issue. Very active on Twitter, Rahul, however, on Tuesday tweeted Pongal wishes and took potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for winning an award. In a sarcastic remark, he said the Kotler Presidential Award is “so famous it has no jury, has never been given out before & is backed by an unheard of Aligarh company.”
In The Hot Spot
Even as the announcement of the SP-BSP alliance and the Congress’s claim on contesting all 80 Lok Sabha seats has heated up the political climate in Uttar Pradesh, newly appointed BJP in-charge for Lok Sabha elections in UP and Union minister J P Nadda is reaching Lucknow on Wednesday. It will be his first Lucknow visit after his appointment as poll in-charge, and will be accompanied by co-in-charges Narottam Mishra and Dushyant Gautam. Nadda will hold meetings with senior party functionaries at state BJP headquarters to draw up a poll strategy while party allies Apna Dal (Sonelal) and Suheldeo Bharatiya Samaj Party are publicly speaking about differences with the local BJP. The party is making preparations for a grand welcome of Nadda.
There seems to be a flow of politicians to Prayag. Union minister Smriti Irani visited Kumbh Mela and tweeted a picture of herself taking a holy dip on Tuesday, and Congress president Rahul Gandhi is expected there on Wednesday. But most interesting would be the arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the gathering of pilgrims from across the world. Modi is likely to take a holy dip along with his Mauritius counterpart Pravind Kumar and Nepalese counterpart K P Sharma Oli on January 24.