Is Cong’s anti-CAA stance trustworthy?

Mafazah Sharafuddin
May 11, 2021

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Congress’ recent loss in Assam has caused discussions about the party’s stand in the CAA issue once more. The BJP, along with allies AGP and UPPL, who won the election did not mention the CAA further than in the manifesto, stating that it will be implemented as per parliamentary ruling. The Congress, on the other hand mentioned the CAA several times during the campaign, going as far to promise a law repealing the largely protested act. 

The passing of the CAA was met with a huge opposition in Assam. Owing to that, the BJP chose to omit the controversial act during the campaign altogether. While it may come as a surprise with the magnitude of opposition against the BJP the CAA caused in Assam, the tactic seemed to work in their favor.

Conversely, the Rahul Gandhi made it a point to publicly announce that that Congress was anti-CAA and would not allow it to be implemented if they get voted into power. Despite the repeal of the CAA being one the five guarantees the Congress gave prior to the election, it seems like the party isn’t unanimous in the idea.

Far from all the Congress leaders being confident in their anti-CAA stand, not even all the Congress leaders within Assam have expressed their stance openly. Sushmita Dev from Barak Valley for example shied away from making any clear statements on the matter. Unwilling to lose out on the votes from people who are pro-CAA, including the Hindu Bengalis, she has remained vague about the issue. 

While Rahul Gandhi and Jitendra Singh have made their stance clear at the central and state level, it is surprising that leaders within the state are not complying with the same. Vote banks and such are not an uncommon occurrence in India. However, when the Congress central leadership has spoken openly against the CAA on multiple occasions, they are making a stand against a decision made by the Center.

The BJP caters to a majorly Hindu audience with no qualms about that being public knowledge. The Congress, on the other hand, has made it a point to seem secular, and support minorities. Their decision to be anti-CAA, deeming it unconstitutional works in that vein. 

However, to pick and choose when to stress on this in fear of losing voters who support the CAA is contradictory to the principles of the party. Vying for the votes of the Hindu Bengalis by distancing themselves from their anti-CAA stance not only brings the Congress’ ideals into question, but also makes the public wonder how much control the leadership has on the members of the party. 

The question arises: Was this an individual blunder or a party blunder? Is the party selling out its values in exchange for votes? Or is it simply that the representatives are allowed to run amuck without respecting the ideals of the party?

While the Congress, unlike its counterpart, has in general refrained from making many blatantly discriminatory statements, they are no pinnacle of inclusivity. The Congress does continuously preach secularism and claims to want to support the minorities, yet the numbers speak for themselves. The representatives are overwhelmingly part of the majority.

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News Network
June 21,2022

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Mandya, June 21: JD(S) MLA M Srinivas allegedly tried to slap a college principal several times in full public view for not providing prompt answers about the ongoing work at a computer lab.

The ugly incident came to light after a video had gone viral that showed the Mandya MLA purportedly making several attempts to slap the Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar ITI College principal Naganand.

Huge public outrage is pouring in on the social media against Srinivas for his misconduct.

The video purportedly depicts the MLA scolding and trying to slap him twice before his college staff and local politicians.

The principal appears to be in trauma and astonished while the onlookers are trying to pacify the MLA.

Meanwhile, the Government Employees Association on Tuesday took cognizance of the incident and pledged to bring it to the notice of Deputy Commissioner.

The association convened an emergency meeting and collected details of the incident. The members including association president Shambhu Gowda met the victim and assured him relief.

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News Network
June 14,2022

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Bengaluru, June 14: Former Karnataka High Court Judge, Justice Bhimanagouda Sanganagouda Patil has been appointed as the new Lokayukta of the state.

He is presently serving as the Upalokayukta.

According to the appointment notification issued on the orders of Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had recommended that Justice Patil be appointed as the Lokayukta of Karnataka.

It said, this recommendation was made after consulting the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, the Chairman Karnataka Legislative Council, the Speaker, Karnataka Legislative Assembly and the Leaders of Opposition in both the Houses of the State Legislature.

The post of the head of anti-corruption ombudsman in the state has been vacant after Justice P Vishwanath Shetty had stepped down as Karnataka Lokayukta in January after five years of service. 

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News Network
June 15,2022

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Washington: The new I2U2 grouping of India, Israel, UAE and the US will hold its first virtual summit next month as part of the Biden administration's efforts to re-energise and revitalise American alliances across the world, according to the White House.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Neftali Bennett and UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan would attend the first-of-its-kind virtual summit of the I2U2 grouping next month for discussions of the food security crisis and other areas of cooperation, it said on Tuesday.

The virtual summit of the four countries would take place during Biden's trip to the Middle East region from July 13 to 16, a senior administration official told reporters during a conference call.

President Biden looks forward to this unique engagement with Prime Minister Bennett, Prime Minister Modi and President Mohammed bin Zayed, the official said.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price, during his daily news conference on Tuesday, told reporters that each of these countries are technological hubs.

"India is a massive consumer market. It is a massive producer of high-tech and highly sought-after goods as well. So, there are a number of areas where these countries can work together, whether its technology, trade, climate, COVID-19, and potentially even security as well," he said.

"Part of our approach from the start is not only to revitalise and re-energise our system of alliances and partnerships around the world, but also to stitch together partnerships that did not exist previously or were not utilised to their full extent," Mr Price said.

"Biotechnology is also prominent. Deepening trade and economic ties between these countries is in our interest when it comes to the relationship between Israel and the UAE. That is something we have sought to deepen. These two countries have deepened their relationship in recent years, including in the economic realm," he said.

Joe Biden will visit the Middle East region from July 13 to July 16 with stops in Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia, and engagements with nearly a dozen counterparts from across the region and beyond.

"The first stop is Israel. This will be President Biden's first visit to the country as President, and it comes nearly 50 years after his first visit to Israel as a young senator," said the official.

During the trip, Joe Biden will engage with nearly a dozen of his counterparts in three stops - Israel, the West Bank, and Saudi Arabia.

It is part of this clear sequence of global engagements at an important moment, the official said.

"It demonstrates, we believe, the return of American leadership to bring countries together to address common threats and challenges, something the US can uniquely do.

"And with new frameworks that aim to harness unique American capabilities to enable partners to work more closely together, which is essential to a more secure, prosperous and stable Middle East region over the long term," the official said.

Biden's visit will also focus on Israel's increasing integration into the region, both through the Abraham Accords with the UAE, Morocco and Bahrain; through deepening ties between Israel, Jordan and Egypt; and also entirely new groupings of partners, including Israel, India, the UAE, and the United States - what they call I2U2, said the official.

"We consider these initiatives central to our strategy of empowering partners and encouraging them to work more closely together, which will lead to a more stable region and also to Israel's security and prosperity over the longer term."

"Importantly, some of these new partnerships reach beyond the Middle East, and the President will hold a virtual summit with the I2U2 heads of state for discussions of the food security crisis and other areas of cooperation across hemispheres where the UAE and Israel serve as important innovation hubs," the official added.

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