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Will May 6 be Remembered as the Day Amethi Renounced Gandhi Family?

Smriti relying on her hands-on community work and BJP’s schemes. Rahul banking on the old-school emotion for the family.

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AMETHI (Uttar Pradesh): It may or may not eventually slip out of its grasp but tell-tale signs of the Gandhi family’s nervousness about the outcome in Amethi Lok Sabha poll is there for all to see. Sitting MP and the Congress president Rahul Gandhi felt the need to pen ‘an emotional letter to the Amethi Family’ while his sister Priyanka Gandhi is having to burn the midnight oil in the constituency on his behalf.

Also Read: Rahul Gandhi Writes Letter to ‘Amethi Parivar’; Smriti Irani Replies

Even as he tries to regain the connect with his constituency via the letter, he has to be aware of the fact that his feisty rival and Textiles Minister Smriti Irani has been relentless in drawing the attention of the people to the fact that Rahul Gandhi has largely been the ‘Missing MP of Amethiall through his last three tenures.


While Rahul has been short of and cagy about responses, Priyanka Gandhi has lately been aggressive in hitting back at the Union minister — accusing Smriti Irani of insulting the people of Amethi by distributing shoes to some of the residents.

In the past, the Gandhi family did not need to react to the opposition in their family borough. And therein lies the story.

The declining story of Congress/Rahul can be told via statistics too:

Rahul Gandhi won his debut election from Amethi with over 66%, which increased to a stunning 72% in 2009. Five years later, however, the Narendra Modi vanquished 2014 Lok Sabha elections saw his vote share plummet by more than 25% to 46.71%the lowest for a Gandhi family candidate in Amethi. The previous lowest percentage was 53.23, which his father and ex-prime minister of India Rajiv Gandhi had won in 1991 elections.


Rahul Gandhi’s winning margin over Smriti Irani was 1.08 lakh votes, down from his 2009 election margin of 2.70 lakh votes. The margin of victory too was the lowest for a Gandhi family candidate. The previous lowest margin was 1.12 lakh votes, which his father and ex-prime minister of India Rajiv Gandhi had won by in 1991 elections.

2014 Now Seems Merely a Precursor:

In the 2015 panchayat polls in UP, BJP showed clear signs of growing further — directly at the expense of Congress.

Amethi has two municipal corporations Gauriganj and Jayas, or Jais. While the SP won the former, the latter went to the BJP.

In addition, BJP also won the Amethi Nagar Panchayat for the first time ever.

By 2017, the itchy parts for Congress were growing into wide open wounds: In the assembly elections, in which BJP absolutely decimated the entire opposition (including the SP-Congress alliance), the Congress failed to win a single seat under the Amethi Lok Sabha seat that comprises five assembly segments.

Read again:


The Congress drew a naught in a constituency, from which the Congress president is the three-time sitting MP.

The BJP, on the other hand, won Amethi, Tiloi, Jagdishpur and Salon (four out of five) assembly seats.

(SP emerged victorious in Gauriganj constituency.)

Overall, across UP, Congress had won only 7 out of the 114 assembly seats (strike rate of a measly 6%) it contested.

Encouraged by the electoral progress, BJP has spent considerable political capital in the constituency.  Top leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have reached out to the people of the constituency.

Yesterday, just before the campaign ended for the current phase, BJP President Amit Shah held a huge roadshow to drive home the point that the party is serious about winning the seat:

One of the reasons that make roadshows like that so successful are foot soldiers.

The newly opened BJP office in Gauriganj, Smriti Irani’s campaign centre that is barely 3km from Gandhi’s campaign office, is a bustling office, full of party workers and volunteers who seem to have a clear sense of purpose.

‘Missing MP’ Pinned Down by ‘Smriti Didi’:

For the past month or a little more, Smriti Irani has been virtually camping in Amethi.

But even otherwise, despite losing 2014 battle, Smriti Irani — as promised by her during the 2014 campaigning — continued her focus on the constituency. She has made sure to not only help many of the poor-oriented social-welfare schemes initiated by the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre reached the last mile but also initiate many other projects in her own capacity. Even the most simple folks of the constituency have noticed that:


In statistical terms, Irani has travelled to Amethi 21 times (compared to Rahul’s 17) since the 2014 loss and has conducted over 100 programmes.

As a reference point of illustration, sample this: Five years after Congress president Rahul Gandhi adopted Amethi’s Jagdishpur village under the ”Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana” (SAGY), residents say they have been waiting for him to visit and get development work started.

The last time Mr Gandhi visited Jagdishpur was in December 2014, when he adopted the village.

Does he believe that mobile phones in Amethi would have not received this:

Where was the absentee MP when 10 Amethi villages caught fire recently? He abandoned you even after winning the seat in 2014 whereas I stood by you even after losing,” Irani told people as she exuded confidence that they will “teach the absentee MP a lesson for ignoring his constituency for 15 years“:

Smriti Irani has personally got over 50,000 people covered under a central government life insurance scheme, besides ensuring benefits under various other initiatives.

There have been news reports galore that show her distributing e-rickshaws, visiting a steel plant, launching a WiFi service in the region and even arranging screenings of ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’.

She’s gifted sarees and even promoted a ‘Made in Amethi’ pickle brand!

This has created some positive vibes about her among Amethi people, especially women, who had not seen much development in their areas since, well, forever.

Added to that, the welfare schemes such as free houses, Kisan Samman Yojana and Ayushman Bharat announced by the Central government also came in handy for her:

In fact, the Modi government’s schemes (marked prominently as ‘central schemes’) can today be seen all around:

Then There’s the Wayanad Factor:

Ever since the Congress party announced that Rahul Gandhi would be contesting from a second seat (in Wayanad, Kerala), Smriti Irani has been firing piercing zingers at the former:

“#BhaagRahulBhaag”, she tweeted last month, responding to reports that Congress leaders from the South were asking their boss to run for office in their states.:

Anyone can contest from anywhere and from two seats too. But it is the nature of the seat chosen by Rahul Gandhi that can have ‘psychological ramifications’.

Not that Congress was not wary of the impact of such a display:

It is an age of WhatsApp. All of that is now in every phone of Amethi. What the constituency would make of it is to be seen.

Talking of the WhatsApp — or the social media — age, Smriti Irani tweeted about Amethi 198 times between 2015 and 2019, as compared to Rahul Gandhi’s 28.

The effort, anyone?

Conclusion:

Rahul Gandhi’s continued absence on the ground, his flight away to a constituency in Kerala that is primarily recognised as a ‘Muslim-dominated seat, Smriti Irani’s on-the-call support and work in the last five years, BJP presence in the majority of assembly constituencies of the Amethi LS seat and the benefits of many poor-oriented schemes of the Narendra Modi government make Smriti Irani a clear favourite.

However, in a country like ours, one can never discount the factor of ‘captive emotions‘:

There is that hope (against hope), “What if Congress somehow comes to power, and he becomes the prime minister?”. Many here think Amethi will get international limelight if they vote for Rahul (if he becomes the PM).

So, much as you would hate reading it at the end of it all, I would call it a ‘keen battle’ between Smriti Irani and the ‘ingrained emotion (loyalty)’ for the Gandhi family. That ‘defining/decisive loyalty to the family’ aside, Rahul is no match for Smriti this time around.

Will May 6 Be Remembered as the Day Amethi Renounced Gandhi Family?

Anshuman Rawat

Anshuman Rawat is a geopolitical and IR columnist-editorcommunications specialist and serial entrepreneur from India. His long-term ambition is to play a leading role in the “development and spread of social welfare-oriented media convergence in India”.

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Digital and Technology

India Bans 118 Chinese Mobile Apps, Including PUBG

The government said it had received complaints that Indian users’ personal data had been stolen.

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NEW DELHI: The central government on Wednesday banned 118 Chinese mobile apps, including the popular game PUBG. The apps have been banned by the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology as “they are engaged in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order“.

Also Read: BANNED: 59 Chinese Mobile Apps That Threaten India’s Sovereignty And Integrity

This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace,” said a statement from the ministry. The statement said it has received many complaints from various sources, including reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms, for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers located outside India.


Some of the banned Chinese apps, including Baidu, Alipay and some versions of the messaging app WeChat, are operated by the largest Chinese internet companies, like Tencent and Ant Financial. Many of these companies see India as an avenue of growth.

Here’s the complete list of Apps banned:

  1. APUS Launcher Pro- Theme, Live Wallpapers, Smart
  2. APUS Launcher -Theme, Call Show, Wallpaper, HideApps
  3. APUS Security -Antivirus, Phone security, Cleaner
  4. APUS Turbo Cleaner 2020- Junk Cleaner, Anti-Virus
  5. APUS Flashlight-Free & Bright
  6. Cut Cut – Cut Out & Photo Background Editor
  7. Baidu
  8. Baidu Express Edition
  9. FaceU – Inspire your Beauty
  10. ShareSave by Xiaomi: Latest gadgets, amazing deals
  11. CamCard – Business Card Reader
  12. CamCard Business
  13. CamCard for Salesforce
  14. CamOCR
  15. InNote
  16. VooV Meeting – Tencent Video Conferencing
  17. Super Clean – Master of Cleaner, Phone Booster
  18. WeChat reading
  19. Government WeChat
  20. Small Q brush
  21. Tencent Weiyun
  22. Pitu
  23. WeChat Work
  24. Cyber Hunter
  25. Cyber Hunter Lite
  26. Knives Out-No rules, just fight!
  27. Super Mecha Champions
  28. LifeAfter
  29. Dawn of Isles
  30. Ludo World-Ludo Superstar
  31. Chess Rush
  32. PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik
  33. PUBG MOBILE LITE
  34. Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
  35. Art of Conquest: Dark Horizon
  36. Dank Tanks
  37. Warpath
  38. Game of Sultans
  39. Gallery Vault – Hide Pictures And Videos
  40. Smart AppLock (App Protect)
  41. Message Lock (SMS Lock)-Gallery Vault Developer Team
  42. Hide App-Hide Application Icon
  43. AppLock
  44. AppLock Lite
  45. Dual Space – Multiple Accounts & App Cloner
  46. ZAKZAK Pro – Live chat & video chat online
  47. ZAKZAK LIVE: live-streaming & video chat app
  48. Music – Mp3 Player
  49. Music Player – Audio Player & 10 Bands Equalizer
  50. HD Camera Selfie Beauty Camera
  51. Cleaner – Phone Booster
  52. Web Browser & Fast Explorer
  53. Video Player All Format for Android
  54. Photo Gallery HD & Editor
  55. Photo Gallery & Album
  56. Music Player – Bass Booster – Free Download
  57. HD Camera – Beauty Cam with Filters & Panorama
  58. HD Camera Pro & Selfie Camera
  59. Music Player – MP3 Player & 10 Bands Equalizer
  60. Gallery HD
  61. Web Browser – Fast, Privacy & Light Web Explorer
  62. Web Browser – Secure Explorer
  63. Music player – Audio Player
  64. Video Player – All Format HD Video Player
  65. Lamour Love All Over The World
  66. Amour- video chat & call all over the world.
  67. MV Master – Make Your Status Video & Community
  68. MV Master – Best Video Maker & Photo Video Editor
  69. APUS Message Center-Intelligent management
  70. LivU Meet new people & Video chat with strangers
  71. Carrom Friends : Carrom Board & Pool Game-
  72. Ludo All Star- Play Online Ludo Game & Board Games
  73. Bike Racing : Moto Traffic Rider Bike Racing Games
  74. Rangers Of Oblivion : Online Action MMO RPG Game
  75. Z Camera – Photo Editor, Beauty Selfie, Collage
  76. GO SMS Pro – Messenger, Free Themes, Emoji
  77. U-Dictionary: Oxford Dictionary Free Now Translate
  78. Ulike – Define your selfie in trendy style
  79. Tantan – Date For Real
  80. MICO Chat: New Friends Banaen aur Live Chat karen
  81. Kitty Live – Live Streaming & Video Live Chat
  82. Malay Social Dating App to Date & Meet Singles
  83. Alipay
  84. AlipayHK
  85. Mobile Taobao
  86. Youku
  87. Road of Kings- Endless Glory
  88. Sina News
  89. Netease News
  90. Penguin FM
  91. Murderous Pursuits
  92. Tencent Watchlist (Tencent Technology
  93. Learn Chinese AI-Super Chinese
  94. HUYA LIVE – Game Live Stream
  95. Little Q Album
  96. Fighting Landlords – Free and happy Fighting Landlords
  97. Hi Meitu
  98. Mobile Legends: Pocket
  99. VPN for TikTok
  100. VPN for TikTok
  101. Penguin E-sports Live assistant
  102. Buy Cars-offer everything you need, special offers and low prices
  103. iPick
  104. Beauty Camera Plus – Sweet Camera & Face Selfie
  105. Parallel Space Lite – Dual App
  106. “Chief Almighty: First Thunder BC
  107. MARVEL Super War NetEase Games
  108. AFK Arena
  109. Creative Destruction NetEase Games
  110. Crusaders of Light NetEase Games
  111. Mafia City Yotta Games
  112. Onmyoji NetEase Games
  113. Ride Out Heroes NetEase Games
  114. Yimeng Jianghu-Chu Liuxiang has been fully upgraded
  115. Legend: Rising Empire NetEase Games
  116. Arena of Valor: 5v5 Arena Games
  117. Soul Hunters
  118. Rules of Survival

The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,” it said.

The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre under the Ministry of Home Affairs has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps, said the statement.


Likewise, there have been similar bipartisan concerns, flagged by various public representatives, both outside and inside the Parliament of India. There has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against Apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens,” it added.

On the basis of these and upon receiving of recent credible inputs that information posted, permissions sought, functionality embedded as well as data harvesting practices of above-stated Apps raise serious concerns that these apps collect and share data in a surreptitious manner and compromise personal data and information of users that can have a severe threat to the security of the state,” it said.

It said that there have been similar bipartisan concerns, flagged by various public representatives, both outside and inside the Parliament of India.

There has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against Apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of citizens.

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India Trends

India Declares 7-Day Mourning As Pranab Mukherjee Passes Away

The 13th President of India was conferred Padma Vibhushan in 2008 and Bharat Ratna in 2019.

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NEW DELHI: As a mark of respect to former President Pranab Mukherjee, Seven-Day State Mourning will be observed throughout India from today till 6th September. During the period, the National Flag will fly at half-mast on all buildings throughout India, where it is flown regularly and there will be no official entertainment.

Mukherjee, a stalwart of Indian politics, breathed his last on Monday (August 31). He was 84. The information was announced by his son Abhijit Mukherjee. The veteran politician was found to be coronavirus positive when he went to Army Hospital for treatment. At the hospital, he underwent surgery for a blood clot in the brain.

Mukherjee served as 13th President of India from 2012 to 2017. He also served as Union Minister of Finance, Defence, External Affairs and Commerce.


A man of humble origin, Mukherjee was born in the small village of Mirati in Birbhum District of West Bengal as the son of freedom fighters, Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee and Rajlakshmi. He acquired a Master’s degree in History and Political Science as well as a degree in Law from the University of Kolkata. He then embarked on his professional life as a college teacher and journalist.

Inspired by his father’s contribution to the national movement, Mukherjee in 1969 plunged into full-time public life following his election to the Upper House of the Parliament.

Under the mentoring of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Mukherjee’s rise in his political career was rapid. He served as Union Minister of Finance, Defence, External Affairs and Commerce.


Mukherjee was also Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission. He was elected to Rajya Sabha five times and twice to Lok Sabha.

Mukherjee served as Leader of both houses of Parliament. He had extensive diplomatic experience and served on the Board of Governors of the IMF, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and African Development Bank. Mukherjee was instrumental in spearheading critical decisions of the Government on a range of issues such as Administrative reforms, Right to Information, Right to Employment, Food Security, Energy Security, Information Technology and telecommunication and setting up of UIDAI.

He was a member of the Congress Working Committee, the highest policy-making body of the Party for a period of 23 years. A powerful orator and scholar, Mukherjee’s intellectual and political prowess as well as remarkable knowledge of international relations, financial affairs and parliamentary process are widely admired.

He has been acclaimed for his role as a consensus builder on difficult national issues through his ability to forge unity amongst the diverse political parties that form part of India’s vibrant multi-party democracy.

India Mourns:


President Ramnath Kovind has condoled the death of former President Pranab Mukherjee. The president said that his demise is the passing of an era. A colossus in public life, he served Mother India with the spirit of a sage.

Vice President M. Vekaiah Naidu said that the country has lost an elder statesman in Pranab Mukherjee’s death. He rose from a humble beginning to occupy the country’s highest constitutional position through hard work, discipline and dedication.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Pranab Mukherjee has left an indelible mark on the development trajectory of the nation. A scholar par excellence, a towering statesman,

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CHANGE ON THE GROUND

“Come, Manufacture Defence Equipment In India,” PM Modi Tells Foreign Companies

He talked about 74 per cent FDI in the defence manufacturing through the automatic route.

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reiterated that the government is committed to boosting defence manufacturing in the country. Addressing a seminar on ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in defence manufacturing, Narendra Modi said efforts are being made to develop new technology and give a big role to private players in the defence sector.

He said, for many years, India has been one of the biggest defence importers — though, when India got independence, it had the great capability in defence manufacturing and an ecosystem of defence manufacturing established over 100 years. “Unfortunately, this subject couldn’t get requisite attention,” he bemoaned.

Wooing foreign players to join his push for defence manufacturing in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that producing defence equipment in the country is the best option for them considering the big size of its market and underscored his government’s commitment to creating a robust ecosystem for all manufacturers.


Highlighting the decision to permit up to 74 per cent FDI in the defence manufacturing through the automatic route, PM Modi said that his government has ushered in a “win-win” situation for all players, from the public sector to private and foreign manufacturers, and asserted that the concept of a self-reliant India is not “inward-looking”.

The PM said steps such as earmarking a part of the capital budget for domestic  procurement, 101 items for domestic procurement will encourage and give a fillip to domestic defence industries. He also said that the Government is working on speeding up the procurement process, streamlining the system of testing etc. Speaking about Corporatization of Ordnance factories, PM said once completed it will strengthen both the workers and the Defence sector.

Emphasizing on the need for technology up-gradation for self-sufficiency in modern equipment, the Prime Minister said that in addition to DRDO, Government is encouraging Research and Innovation in the private sector and in academic institutions as well. The Prime Minister mentioned that emphasis is on co-production through joint ventures with foreign partners.


Highlighting that the Government has been working on the mantra of Reform, Perform, and Transform, the Prime Minister said major reforms are underway in areas of Intellectual Property, Taxation, Insolvency and Bankruptcy, Space and Atomic Energy.

On the infrastructure initiatives, the Prime Minister spoke about two defence corridors underway in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.  He said the state of the art infrastructure is being built in collaboration with the state government of Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. An investment target of 20 thousand crores in the coming 5 years has been set for this.

PM observed that the iDEX initiative which was launched to encourage entrepreneurs particularly those associated with MSME and Start-ups are also getting positive results. Through this platform, more than 50 start-ups have developed technology and products for military use, he noted.

The Prime Minister said that the goal is to build a capable India to make the Global Economy more resilient, more stable and to bring peace in the world. This is the idea behind Atmanirbharta in Defence Manufacturing. India has the potential to become a reliable supplier of defence equipment to many of its friendly nations. It will strengthen India’s strategic partnerships and strengthen India’s role as a  “net security provider” in the Indian Ocean region, the Prime Minister said.

He said feedback and suggestions received on the  Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy Draft will help in implementing this policy at the earliest.


PM concluded by saying that collective efforts will help in releasing our resolve to become self- reliant, to become an Atmanirbhar Bharat.

PM Modi said the motto of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ was not to be mistaken for inward-looking, but for “making India capable and boosting global peace and economy”.

Our work for Aatmanirbhar Bharat will also boost India’s ability to be net security provider in the Indian Ocean,” the PM said.

The work on building defence corridor is also on at a rapid pace in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, he said, while adding that Rs 20,000 crore investment would be made for this in the next five years and a state of the art infrastructure will be developed.

Stressing the need for reforms in the defence sector, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the government aims to become self-reliant to contribute to the world in a better way. “The focus is on Atmanirbhar Bharat and draft for defence production 2020 has been formed,” he said.

The Defence Minister also highlighted that the procurement procedure has been made simple and called for more investment in the defence sector.

He thanked PM for his valuable guidance at the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat-Defence Industry Outreach’ webinar.

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