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Sunday, April 05, 2020

Delhi Confidential: Face of Protests

On Tuesday, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra led the Congress’s peace march in Delhi.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: February 27, 2020 2:54:48 am
Priyanka Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi protest march, Priyanka Gandhi CAA, Priyanka Gandhi  Delhi peace march, delhi violence, indian express Senior Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi along with party workers being stopped at Janpath Road while they were heading towards Gandhi Smriti in New Delhi on Wednesday. Priyanka was leading a peace march. (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

She took part in a sit-in at India Gate in December last year to protest the police action at Jamia Millia Islamia and then travelled to many towns in Uttar Pradesh to meet families of those who died during the course of protests against the CAA. On Tuesday, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra led the Congress’s peace march in Delhi. So, is the party general secretary emerging as the Congress’s face for street protests in the absence of brother, and former party chief, Rahul Gandhi? Rahul is again said to travelling abroad, and senior party leaders are as usual unaware of his whereabouts. Many, in fact, are wondering what could be the reason behind his frequent visits abroad.

Hearing By Chance

A day after the Delhi High Court bench headed by Justice S Muralidhar pulled up the Delhi Police and the Solicitor General representing the Union government while hearing a plea seeking safe passage for those injured in Delhi riots, the case will be heard by a different bench headed by Chief Justice D N Patel on Thursday. Curiously, the case was heard by Justice Muralidhar in the first place since Chief Justice Patel was on personal leave since Monday. He returns to court on Thursday. On Tuesday night, since the CJ was on leave, the second most-senior judge, Justice G S Sistani, constituted a bench of Justices S Muralidhar (third most-senior judge) and Anup Bhambani. Justice Sistani, who would have heard the mentioning of urgent cases, was also on leave on Wednesday, leaving Justice Muralidhar in charge.


Indian envoy to Singapore Jawed Ashraf has now been named as the next envoy to France. Ashraf, who had served as Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office under both Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi, is known within the official establishment as Modi’s speechwriter for diplomatic occasions. A career diplomat, Ashraf has served in the US and also as Joint Secretary (Americas) in the Ministry of External Affairs.

No Cakes, Please

For politicians, a quiet birthday celebration seems to be almost ruled out. Despite repeated requests not to bring cakes to celebrate his birthday, BJP general secretary Anil Jain received nearly 40 cakes on his 61st birthday on Tuesday. Jain, BJP’s Haryana in-charge, distributed some of them among people who came to greet him and invited people from areas where an NGO run by his wife works. He cut the cake with two other children among them who celebrate their birthdays this month. Jain is now being advised to send messages to friends and well-wishers to contribute for some social cause instead of bringing him cakes on birthday.

Senior’s Advice

The Congress wanted to meet President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday and urge him to direct the Centre to take effective action to restore peace in Delhi. But midway through a meeting of the Congress Working Committee, the party got message from Rashtrapati Bhavan that Kovind was not available, and will meet them on Thursday. Some CWC members argued that the party should nevertheless march ahead and leave the memorandum at the Rashtrapati Bhavan gate. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh then pointed out it would not be proper and reflect poorly on the party since the President has already agreed to meet them, a view endorsed by several veterans. Singh’s view prevailed, and the party deferred its plan.

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