From the 1969 polls that led to the split in the then mighty ruling Congress, to the 1997 elections when the Opposition BJP backed the ruling coalition's candidate, presidential elections have been politically fascinating
The Election Commission has notified the election of India’s next President on July 18. A look at the voting procedure, how the votes of MLAs and MPs are weighted, and how previous elections have played out.
On June 10, the Assemblies of 4 states will elect 16 MPs to Rajya Sabha. What is the process for conducting such an election, how are the votes counted, and why do Rajya Sabha numbers matter to all parties?
Ahead of the June 10 Rajya Sabha elections, legislators of at least three states – Rajasthan, Haryana and Maharashtra – are huddled in five-star hotels and resorts to ensure rival parties do not lure away their MLAs.
The silence of the other Opposition parties -- “like-minded parties”, as the Congress calls them – was curious even though the Congress's ties with friendly parties and allies are evidently under strain now.
On Sunday, the Congress announced its 10 candidates from seven states, renominating loyalists and MPs P Chidambaram and Jairam Ramesh, and denying berths to G23 leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma.
After days of intense deliberations and hectic lobbying, the party tonight announced its 10 candidates from seven states, keeping the suspense on its nominee from Jharkhand where ally JMM is said to have agreed to back a Congress candidate after some persuasion by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Having emerged as one of the most trenchant critics of the Gandhis in the last two years, Kapil Sibal's exit may not really ruffle them. In fact, some in the leadership are heaving a sigh of relief, at being spared of his frequent acerbic attacks.
Kapil Sibal interview: In an interview to the Indian Express minutes after he announced his resignation, Sibal said "my future plans are to unite the opposition to oppose the present BJP dispensation which is following anti-people policies and which is dividing the inclusive culture of India."
The resignation of Sibal, one of the most trenchant critics of the Gandhis in the last two years, may also cripple the G23, the ginger group of senior leaders who had sent a letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi in August 2020 seeking sweeping changes in the party's structure.
Besides Azad and Sharma, the political affairs group has Rahul Gandhi, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, CWC members Ambika Soni and Digvijaya Singh, AICC general secretary in charge of organisation K C Venugopal and AICC general secretary in charge of Assam Jitendra Singh.
Will it be able to rally Opposition parties together after Rahul Gandhi criticised them recently, or will some of these parties keep the grand old party out and formulate their own strategy? Either way, the NDA has the numbers.
Gandhi claimed European diplomats had told him that the Indian foreign service has become “arrogant,” a comment which drew a sharp rebuff from External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar who tweeted: “it’s not called arrogance…it’s called confidence.”
Clarifying his earlier comment, Rahul Gandhi said the Congress is in no way “superior” to the other opposition parties, but added that the “ideological battle” is between “the national vision of the RSS and the national vision of the Congress.”
A section of the Congress leaders believe that the party should have demanded a review of the GST mechanism or repeal of the GST Act in its Udaipur chintan shivir declaration and that it lost an opportunity by not doing so.
“Losing any valuable member diminishes us... So one of the reasons we wanted these reforms was to give every Congressman and woman a sense of involvement in the party, which clearly Hardik felt he did not have”
In his resignation letter to party president Sonia Gandhi, Hardik took swipes at Rahul directly, saying there was lack of seriousness about all issues – again not a new charge against the party's de facto president.
Buried in the Udaipur declaration adopted by the shivir was a suggestion by the youth panel that a “retirement age” should be fixed for all “elected posts” and in Parliament, assemblies and legislative councils.
To reestablish that connection, Sonia announced the party will undertake a Bharat yatra from October 2 this year. The party also announced a series of organisational reforms at the end of its three-day chintan shivir here to bring new and young faces into leadership roles.