Pitroda, Adhir's 'racist' goof-ups haunt Congress while AAP-ka neta returns to campaign trail

Last Updated : 11 May 2024, 06:13 IST
Last Updated : 11 May 2024, 06:13 IST

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Hello reader,

We are back with this week's headlines that 'rocked' the conscience of the nation. The week saw the third phase of Lok Sabha elections, which was held for 93 seats across 11 states and one Union Territory on May 7. But the news that perhaps raised the most eyebrows was Congress' very own headache, Sam Pitroda's analogy of India's diversity. We will get to this and more in this edition of DH Political Theatre.

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Sam Pitroda and Adhir Ranjan - A mishap awaiting ticking..? ‘Happens all the time’ we guess

For Congress, the now-former Indian Overseas Congress Chairman Sam Pitroda is not a new challenge. In the past too, as recent as two weeks ago, his out-of-run comments have left the party in a tight spot. Sam Pitroda— who is considered to be close to the Gandhi family and Rahul's mentor— has given the BJP an opportunity to corner the grand old party (whilst, not that there is dearth) on a platter with his 'hua toh hua' attitude.

This week, in an interview with The Statesman, Pitroda described India as a "diverse country... where people in the east look like the Chinese, people in the west look like Arabs, people in the north look like maybe white and people in the south look like Africans". While Congress was quick to distance itself from the remark, like last time, (before, ah, and previous..okay) all the time, but not before the feud was ensued.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was on a campaign trail in Andhra, demanded a response from Rahul Gandhi on this 'not-so-great' analogy, and of course why not, the other BJP top brass said this was a reflection of Congress and its supreme leader. And, the day culminated in party's communications in-charge Jairam Ramesh announcing the exit of Pitroda from the post of Indian Overseas Congress Chairman.

Pitroda's comments were backed by senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who said, "India too has dark-skinned people akin to the N****es".

"According to the topography of our country, our regional features differ. In our Hindustan, we have Proto-Australian class, N***o class, Mongoloid class. I don't need to speak much on personal opinions," Chowdhury said in an interview with ANI.

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'Earlier or later': A splash of relief for Kejriwal

After the Supreme Court's dilly-dallying over whether to release Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, the news of relief came for the AAP boss with the apex court finally granting him interim bail on Friday afternoon till June 1, when the final phase of voting for Lok Sabha election concludes.

Kejriwal joining the poll campaign is expected to bring cheers not just to AAP but also to I.N.D.I.A. bloc. Opposition leaders reacting to the news of interim bail, said it would be "very helpful in the context of the ongoing elections."

Hassan Sex abuse case: 'You may choose to look the other way but you will never say again that you didn't know'

Down south in Karnataka, the sexual abuse case against 33-year-old JD(S) MP Prajwal Revanna continues to raise a political storm, with the ruling and opposition parties engaged in a slug fest over 'who leaked the videos'. The week saw trouble mounting for JD(S) MLA H D Revanna, the father of Prajwal, who was arrested for allegedly kidnapping a victim of his son. Later, a police complaint was filed against Prajwal based on this elderly woman's statement. While the custody of H D Revanna ended on May 8, a magistrate court in Bengaluru further remanded him to seven days' judicial custody until May 14.

The country awaits the return or capture of Prajwal Revanna, accused of multiple instances of rape, who flew to Germany amidst a brewing political storm and Interpol issuing a Blue Corner Notice against the 'absconding' Hassan JD(S) MP.

'Daro mat, bhaago mat...' Raebareli what?

After much suspense and drama, the Congress delivered its Raebareli and Amethi climax with Rahul Gandhi filing his nomination from the Lok Sabha seat. While the chatter on the political corridor was Rahul's switch from Amethi to Raebareli being a well-thought-out and scripted move to deliver a jolt to Smriti Irani, the ruling BJP took potshots at Rahul Gandhi, saying 'Rahul Yaan' will fail again. And for Narendra Modi, it was his turn to spray Gandhi with "Daro mat, bhaago mat" (Don't be afraid, don't run) jibe, which Rahul had hurled at him earlier.

Meanwhile, Rahul's now 'abandoned' Amethi, is witnessing a fierce political battle between BJP's Smriti Irani and Congress' Kishori Lal Sharma, who according to BJP's Raebareli candidate Dinesh Pratap Singh, is "Priyanka Gandhi's clerk".

A fate inked in a rather peaceful Phase 3 elections

The nation on May 7 in all probability could have sealed its fate with half of the parliamentary seats having exercised its franchise during the first three phases of the Lok Sabha elections. In the third phase of the election, 93 constituencies across 10 states and one Union Territory voted. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah were among the 'star voters' in this phase. Defying sweltering heat, 64 per cent of 17.24 crore eligible people voted in the third phase of Lok Sabha elections.

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Operation 'Haat' in Haryana

All is not well in the Haryana BJP government, with the the three independent MLAs who extended support to Nayab Singh Saini-led government in the state, withdrawing the same and announcing that they will back the Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) leader Dushyant Chautala also wrote to Governor Bandaru Dattatreya seeking a floor-test, as the Congress sought time from the governor to urge him to impose President’s rule.

However, later four JJP MLAs reportedly met with former Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday at the residence of Minister of State Mahipal Dhanda in Panipat, thus shaking the ground under Chautala's own feet.

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EC delivers a jolt to BJP Karnataka, but not before polling ended

Expressing 'serious concern' over the failure to remove an 'objectionable post' by BJP Karnataka on X platform, which portrayed the SC, ST and OBC community as 'eggs' in a nest and also suggested Rahul Gandhi planting a big egg labelled as 'Muslim community', the Election Commission directed social media platform X to remove the video with 'immediate effect'. But, not before the curtains came down on the hard-fought and high-pitched Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka.

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'No rape' clamour from Sandeshkhali

In West Bengal, the tranquil island of Sandeshkhali is back in a political storm again in the midst of election, began with a 'sting operation' showing a BJP worker claiming the rape accusations were 'planted' at the behest of BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari. This opened a can of worms, with both parties accusing each other of spreading lies. There were also videos doing the rounds claiming that women were made to sign on blank papers, which were later filled up as complaints of sexual assault against TMC leaders.

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'My birth is my fatal accident': Closure of Rohith Vemula 'case'

Telangana Police filed a closure report in the 2016 Rohith Vemula suicide case before a local court and gave a clean chit to the accused. In its closure report, police claimed Vemula was 'not a Dalit' and died by suicide in 2016 as he feared that his 'real caste' would be discovered.

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Brij Bhushan ki haalat

In a setback to the BJP leader and former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a Delhi court on Friday ordered framing of charges against him in connection with the case of sexual harassment of female wrestlers. For Brij Bhushan, the latest development is a double whammy, as the BJP earlier dropped him from Kaiserganj to nominate his son, Karan Singh.

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From the world stage: Who killed 'Nijjar'?

Canadian police's arrest of 3 Indian men in connection with the murder of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar evoked strong reactions from India, with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), saying that "no specific or relevant evidence or information has been shared by the Canadian authorities till date." India has said there are "political interests at work" and reiterated that "separatists, extremists and those advocating violence have been given a political space in Canada."

We will be tracking all these and more as it unfolds and be back next week. Until then, adios!

Exit stage left,

DH Newsletters Team

Published 11 May 2024, 06:13 IST

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