Not In The Fray?
In 2014, some senior Congress leaders were reportedly reluctant to contest the Lok Sabha elections. Manish Tewari and Kumari Selja, among those who did not contest in 2014, are very much in the battlefield this time. But one gets to hear that some others are developing cold feet. The grapevine is that former Kurukshetra MP Naveen Jindal is not keen on contesting. Similarly, Kuldeep Bishnoi, too, is said to have turned down the offer and is learnt to be keen that his son contests from Hisar. Hingoli MP and Congress’s Gujarat in-charge, Rajeev Satav, has also refused to contest, it is learnt.
Bit Of A Hurdle
A two-time Lok Sabha MP, K C Venugopal, Congress general secretary in charge of organisation, is not new to Delhi. But he is new to the party’s organisational set-up in Lutyens’ Delhi. He is said to be trying to draw up a list of leaders to be sent as party observers to all Lok Sabha constituencies. But it seems he has been having a tough time to find leaders with experience and track record. His relative lack of organisational experience at the national level, and personal relationship with leaders across states, it seems, is proving to be a hurdle.
While the election model code of conduct prohibits new policy announcements, the Union Health Ministry is not sitting idle. The ministry has assigned joint secretaries as nodal officers to monitor all schemes in states. States and Union Territories have been divided among the 15 ministry joint secretaries, who are expected to be in “continuous contact” with the officials concerned in their assigned states.