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HomePre-TruthThe happiness of Congress president Rahul Gandhi at a Christmas party

The happiness of Congress president Rahul Gandhi at a Christmas party

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Pre-Truth — snappy, witty and significant snippets from the world of politics and government.

Merry Christmas for Rahul Gandhi

If there is one party that Congress president Rahul Gandhi tries to attend every year, it is the Christmas get-together hosted by the mother of Gandhi family’s son-in-law Robert Vadra. This year was no different. Not only did Gandhi attend the party, he happily posed for photographs with Vadra and Priyanka Gandhi’s non-political friends. A guest present at the party said there was a spring in Gandhi’s steps, something that many alluded to the recent Congress victories in three heartland states.

Also read: With Burberry quilted jackets, Rahul Gandhi brings street style to Congress

Sam Pitroda’s new venture

Politics is the art of the possible. After trying his hand at the seemingly impossible task of reinventing Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s image, party leader and technocrat Sam Pitroda is now playing Santa to new artists. The go-to NRI strategist of the Congress, Pitroda now wants to help artists of the world. Recently, he launched an online gallery called Pitroda Art, a new project “to sell emerging art from emerging artists in emerging markets to the world”. He is showcasing artists from Costa Rica, Serbia, India, and Ecuador.

A ‘shoe’ of love 

After Sachin Pilot, who has again started wearing the Rajasthani turban on special occasions after his party’s return to power in the state, another Congressman got a part of his attire back. On Wednesday, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath personally helped a party worker Durga Lal wear his shoes. A tweet put out by the chief minister said Lal had taken an oath to not wear shoes till the party came back to power in Madhya Pradesh.

Narendra Modi’s ‘Jai Jagannath’ connect

During a two-day visit to his home state Gujarat last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended a laser light show and cultural performance at the Statue of Unity as part of the Annual DGP Conference. After the cultural show, Modi went to greet the troupes and the one to have caught his attention comprised a group of children who performed the Gotipua — a traditional dance form from Odisha. Modi went up to these children and said “Jai Jagannath”. Lord Jagannath is a deity with great significance in the state.

The BJP is working towards establishing a foothold in Odisha in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls and assembly polls due next year. The prime minister even began his Monday rally in the state with chants of “Jai Jagannath”.

Puzzling hoardings at BJP Mahila Morcha’s meet

The BJP Mahila Morcha held its two-day national convention in Gandhinagar from 21 December, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi attending the closing ceremony. Nothing was unusual about the event, except the positioning of hoardings inside the venue featuring BJP’s top women leaders. Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi’s hoarding was displayed right in the front — next to the first row of the hall. It was followed by that of Textiles Minister Smriti Irani and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

In the Union cabinet, Swaraj is the senior-most woman minister while Irani is positioned as the fire-brand, gen-next leader of the party. Many in the party were perplexed at the order of the hoardings.

The only two women leaders whose hoardings found space right next to the stage were Maniben Patel, freedom fighter daughter of Sardar Patel, and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who was invited for the inauguration of the event.

Chandrababu Naidu’s pipe dreams

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has dreams of becoming India’s prime minister. If rumours are to be believed, Naidu made a quick visit to his trusted astrologer Bala Nair in Chennai recently to find out if is his lucky stars are aligned in order to rule the country. But sources say that he was warned of difficult times ahead and that the Telangana loss was a sign. He was also told to stabilise himself in Andhra Pradesh and not travel across the country seeking support like he did with M.K. Stalin, Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal and Mayawati.

Common man for the EC

A few weeks before assembly elections were conducted in five states recently, the Election Commission issued a full-page advertisement in newspapers with R.K. Laxman’s iconic cartoon of the common man. For rights to use it for a year, the EC had approached the Times Group, which owns copyright on the cartoon. A nominal amount was paid to the group by the EC.

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora was of the view that there’s no better way to depict India’s electorate than R.K. Laxman’s cartoon. When presented with four options, EC chose the one in which the ‘common man’ is carrying a bouquet — described as a “common man paying homage to democracy”.

Blame-game on over ‘snooping’ order

A political storm erupted recently as the Home Ministry issued an order authorising 10 agencies to intercept and monitor information stored in any computer. There was a lot of finger-pointing about the responsibility for the “wrong timing” of the controversial order. At a meeting held recently, top functionaries of the government discussed how it was a “bad decision” to “formally” pass the order at a time when the Parliament session is on and general elections are due.

Also read: Modi govt ‘snoop’ order was UPA’s idea, and was backed by most parties

BJP CMs’ Christmas no-show on Twitter

Political leaders take to social media to wish on major festivals, and Christmas was no exception this year. From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, top politicians posted Christmas greetings from their Twitter handles. However, some BJP chief ministers — Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Rawat and Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani — conspicuously chose not to post wishes from their personal handles. While they paid their tributes to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was born on 25 December, and also mentioned ‘Good Governance Day’, the leaders gave Christmas greetings a miss.

Break from Parliament

The winter session of the Parliament is on till 5 January. But with pandemonium continuing in both Houses, many leaders from opposition parties who are from outside New Delhi have decided to take an extended break. A Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP went to Kolkata before Christmas and said he will return on 1 January.

“What is the point of going to the House when it does not function? It’s a sheer waste of our time and effort. I am watching TV. If the House resumes, only then I’ll go before 1 January,” said the MP who didn’t wish to be named.

Attendance even among the ruling party MPs has been thin the past week, forcing the BJP to issue a whip asking all party MPs to be present in the House in full strength on 27 December, the day when the triple talaq bill is expected to be taken up for vote.

(Contributors: Ruhi Tewari, Maneesh Chhibber, Sanya Dhingra, Moushumi Das Gupta, Ananya Bhardwaj and Rohini Swamy.)

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  1. Very biased caption of this article, even if unwittingly. If there is “spring in Gandh’s steps” as the text elaborates because of his recent success at the elections, that spring would have been there even at a Diwali party — if elections had happened before Diwali. So the “spring” is independent of which party it was; by unnecessarily adding “Christmas” to the title THE PRINT has fanned the imagination of narrow minded Hindus who have always attached the word “foreigner” with Rahul Gandhi’s name. In the sensitive elections year this can be construed as deliberate mischief or bias on the part of THE PRINT.

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