She had served as Chief Minister from 1998 to 2013 in Delhi before she was defeated by Arvind Kejriwal by losing the assembly seats by over 20,000 votes. She had also represented Kannauj Parliamentary Constituency of Uttar Pradesh during the period between 1984 and 1989. Nikhil Kumar has held the post since March 2013 and the decision to appoint Dikshit as Governor came after the speculations that that Kumar may contest the Lok Sabha election from Bihar.
Dikshit was appointed as Governor of Kerala a couple of hours before the announcement of general elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies.
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It was his first interview in front of the camera to a reputed English news channel that got rave reviews from the entire political society. Rahul Gandhi, vice-president of Congress faced good criticism after his direct answers to the direct questions that were hit by the anchor towards him. Rahul, in an interview to the TV news channel claimed that there are differences between the 1984 riots and the 2002 riots in Gujarat as in 1984 riots the then government tried to stop the violence, while in Gujarat the government was 'abetting and pushing' the riots.
No sooner was it telecasted, the words became viral and within few hours the first one to pass strong remarks against it was Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), a Sikh centric political party who termed the statements of Rahul on his justification of 1984 riots different from 2002 Gujarat riots to be 'full of hypocrisy'. SAD leader Naresh Gujral commented that what Rahul said is a total hogwash and is full of hypocrisy. He added that if Narendra Modi was responsible for Gujarat because he was the chief minister, then what about Rahul Gandhi's father who was the Prime Minister when the Sikh massacre took place. He alleged the Congress party for the 1984 massacre while stating that that the riots in Delhi was done by the Congress party and so the government did not employ the army for rescue till three days.
The sharp comments did not end here, after SAD; it was BJP's turn to pass remarks on what Rahul has said. It was justified also as he have directed his speech towards Modi, primarily the face of BJP after he is declared the prime ministerial candidate of the Lok Sabha elections. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) commented that Rahul Gandhi was lacking the idea that could have generated hope. Leader of BJP, Ravi Shankar Prasad mocked that Rahul's interview with the channel was a performance of evasion that was amateurish and unfortunately of rank ignorance.
Arun Jaitley, leader of BJP also thrashed Rahul with his comments telling that the young Congress leader has been not informed properly. He laid stress on the riot of 1984 to be collusion with the government and that police had not at all been involved in any such step taken in 1984 riots. He questioned Congress that what did the party do in 1984 riots and also clarified that Narendra Modi has been questioned and went through a legal process after 2002 Gujarat riots.
These allegations and harsh comments formulates that Rahul's accusations and the way he presented the whole scenario of 1984 riots by defending Congress in the involvement was not at all well accepted by many. Rahul made it a point to speak diplomatically throughout the interview and thus avoided certain questions that were bowled over him. Now, it is a serious issue to check over that how will Rahul and Congress get over it and what are the further justifications they will present regarding this matter.
Rahul Gandhi has been opted out from the race of PM nominee of the party. The party in its AICC meet has not declared the name of its PM nominee for the next elections and this has raised doubts in the political circle of the nation. BJP has proclaimed that Rahul does not stand in comparison to Modi and thus the Congress has held him back to avoid loss of face for Rahul in the next elections. Congress on Friday, January 17 came up with the decision of not making Rahul Gandhi its next PM nominee. The decision arrived in the crucial All India Congress Committee (AICC) meet. The party leaders have met to finalize the strategies of Lok Sabha elections of 2014. When every party member was strongly recommending Rahul Gandhi to be PM nominee for the next elections, Sonia Gandhi intervened against it. Later, Rahul Gandhi was appointed as the poll campaign chief to conduct coming general election campaign of the Congress party.
Earlier Rahul Gandhi in an interview to a Hindi daily stated that he is a sepoy of the party and so he will perform efficiently the duties that the party allots him. Such a statement came close to confirmation that the party has decided on its next PM candidate and this meet will officially declare its name. But things changed on January 17, when the party decided Rahul Gandhi not to be the next nominee for PM race. When asked about such a decision, Congress spokesperson Janardan Dwivedi told reporters that though many of the members in the CWC wanted Rahul Gandhi should be the Prime Ministerial candidate, but after a debate Sonia Gandhi interfered in the discussion. She said that Congress do not have any tradition of disclosing the PM nominee, as others have done it.
This decision gave a free hand to r to BJP to comment on it. Rajnath Singh, BJP president said that this Congress decision indicated that they have already accepted Narendra Modi to be the next prime minister of the nation. The BJP leader further stated that Congress is aware of impending defeat in the next elections and this has restricted them from naming Rahul Gandhi as its next PM nominee. Rahul Gandhi does not stand anywhere in comparison with Narendra Modi and thus they have stepped back. Arun Jaitley remarked that Congress has assumed that they are not going to form the government and so there is no need to announce a PM candidate.
After a great suspense regarding confirmation of Rahul Gandhi to be next PM nominee, this sudden change in decision by the party and Sonia Gandhi's statement of not accepting Rahul for the position has given rise to lots of doubts in the minds of party people. It is assumed largely that Congress has been affected highly by the increasing popularity of Modi and Kejriwal, and that they find no hope of victory in this session, this fact has made them change the decision. Though Shashi Tharoor, Union Minister is not ready to accept the reason for party's back foot on Rahul's being the nominee and said that Rahul is already in the battlefield and the party expects very good chances of winning.
Congress, the grand old political party recently launched their election campaign advertisement. On January 24 the party in the presence of its senior members inaugurated its advertisement. The advertisement carried tagline of 'main nahi, hum' means it's not me, it's us. It was last week when Rahul Gandhi, vice-president of Congress in his speech at the All India Congress Committee made it noticeable that he will work for the people and with the people. This tagline was also to carry down the personality driven campaign of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that has elected Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate for the Lok Sabha elections.
The half page advertisement in all major newspapers shows that Rahul Gandhi standing at the center and nine other people from different communities surrounding him and prominently featuring the slogan 'Har Haath Shakti, Har Haath Tarakki' which means power in every hand, progress to everyone.
But this launch of the new campaign again brought with it controversies of plagiarism. BJP alleged Congress to be a copycat to have copied the campaign tagline that was used by Narendra Modi in a BJP rally three years ago. Ironically the advertisement on a satire way speaks about Modi's unilateral behaviors of concentrating on only himself and his state. It also has a text that accompanied the advertisement saying 'no one person has the magic wand to usher in development instantly.'
Soon after the campaign was launched, BJP came down to accuse its rival on lifting the slogan from the campaign Modi held in Gujarat in 2011. To back the claim, BJP came up with the pictures of the banner used by Modi during that campaign.
When asked about this plagiarism issue of the campaign to the party leaders, they clearly denied the charges of being a copycat. Shobha Ozo, Congress spokesperson commented that Congress does not need to copy as the party sets its own agenda. She also added that Congress have always stood for 'we' and never for oneself like any other party.
Rahul Gandhi may be the undeclared prime ministerial candidate of the party, but he is surely ready and has packed his bag to serve the new portfolio as a campaign leader of his party. He in his Amethi rally speech declared that if the party wins then he is ready to hold the position of the next prime minister of the nation. This brings a faded light that Congress and Rahul may delay to announce their prime ministerial candidate, but with various speeches it looks as if Rahul will be holding the position if fortune turns over them.
But for now, the Lok Sabha election campaigns deliver new headlines every day that warms up the entire nation's winter mornings. Rival parties busy accusing each other on various grounds drives the general mass to come to the stall and get a copy of their selected newspaper.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is having a hard-hitting week. Criticism, allegations, lack of experience and major and minor threats have encircled the party entirely. It was just a day ago that Delhi police had received threat alerts from Indian Mujahideen to abduct Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for release of Yasin Bhatkal. But Arvind Kejriwal was undaunted with such serious threats of terror attacks and decided to sit on a dharna on Monday, January 20 outside Rail Bhavan demanding the suspension of five policemen.
The episode started last week when Cabinet Minister Somnath Bharti conducted a raid on the African residents in Khirki village. The women on whom raid was conducted filed a complaint against Bharti for detaining them and molesting them on the night and used abusive language against them. The government accused the women as a part of the prostitution and drug racket and demanded their arrest. The minister was also charged with passing of racist remarks against the Africans. When asked Bharti who is an active member of AAP about the incident, he clearly denied and stated that he will someday prove them as a part of drug and sex racket of South Delhi. Kejriwal accused the policemen of defying Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti's order to arrest the Ugandan women and to show his protest against it, he went for a dharna.
The dharna drew Delhi chief minister fierce criticism from both Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress. BJP called the protest as 'anarchic and a gimmick'; while Congress commented that government cannot be run from the streets. Arvinder Singh, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president described the move of Kejriwal as unconstitutional and that he is trying to protect his ministers. He added that Kejriwal cannot draw line between running a government and activism. Union Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde asked Kejriwal to maintain the dignity of the office that he holds and that he should cooperate with the police and wait till the judicial probe is over. BJP leaders also commented on such a move to be a 'mock fight' between AAP and its ally. They admitted that the issues raised by AAP were important but the way it was highlighted was not at all acceptable. All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary Sanjay Nirupam asked Kejriwal to stop the 'drama' which he is doing for several days and to concentrate on governance.
When asked, Arvind Kejriwal admitted to be an anarchist and that the suspension of five police officials is only what they want. He soon changed his demand from suspension of the cops and asked to grant transfer orders to them. Later changing his decision again Kejriwal stated that he would not settle less than police department being placed under Delhi government. Finally he settled down for paid leave of two policemen till the enquiry report of the incident is submitted by the judicial committee.
It will be interesting to watch that how Kejriwal does a fine balance between activism, populism and governance. Another feature of his poll promise which was regarding Mohalla committees under the sawarj initiative would pan out over the entire country if the mob or vigilante justice would be encouraged by the government itself. Print and TV media are keeping a good watch on each activity of AAP and on Arvind Kejriwal for now.