Hyderabad: Rahul Gandhi to participate in bus yatra

Hyderabad: Congress president Rahul Gandhi will participate in the next phase of bus yatra which is likely to begin in the first week of August.

Rahul Gandhi is likely to address a series of street corner meetings as part of the bus yatra in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy. The date and venue is likely to be finalised in the next few days. So far, in the last three phases of bus yatra, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President Capt. N. Uttam Kumar has covered 40 Assembly constituencies. The bus yatra was halted in the month of June in view of Ramzan. Having completed other programmes pertaining to strengthening of organisation, the party has reportedly decided to resume the yatra next month.

Meanwhile, Uttam Kumar Reddy, who was in Delhi to attend Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, held detailed interactions with AICC Telangana Incharge R.C.Khuntia on party’s activities in Telangana. Later, Uttam and Khuntia had a review meeting with AICC Secretaries N.S. Bose Raju, Saleem Ahmed and Srinivasan Krishnan who have been assigned the task of supervising party activities in Parliamentary constituencies. He also had a detailed review meeting regarding Shakti programme with AICC Data Analytics Head Praveen Chakravorthy who congratulated the TPCC Chief on Telangana Congress entering the Top 3 States with highest number of registrations. While Rajasthan has registered 3.5 lakh workers on Shakti App, Chattisgarh got 95,000 registrations. With 58,000 registrations, Telangana was on third position.

Addressing a press conference later at AICC Headquarters in Delhi on Monday, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the party was planning to ensure early release of manifesto and also early announcement of candidates. He said delay in release of party’s manifesto and KCR’s lucrative promises were the main reasons which resulted in party’s loss in 2014 elections. Therefore, he said that the manifesto, both at the national and State levels, should be released early.

Uttam Kumar Reddy also informed that each of three AICC Secretaries would be taking care of issues pertaining to six Parliamentary constituencies assigned to each of them till elections. He also explained about various initiatives being implemented to strengthen the party’s organisation in Telangana State. Besides Shakti, he said a tele-conference with all mandal presidents was being held on regular basis and this would be soon extended to presidents of over 31,600 polling booths. He said it was a unique technology which connects over 30,000 people at once and also uses artificial intelligence for assessment. He said it was for the first time in the country that a president of State Congress was having a direct interaction with booth level presidents.

When asked for reaction on comments by TRS leaders on Congress party, Uttam Kumar Reddy advised TRS leaders to first set their house in order before commenting on Congress party. He said most TRS ministers, MPs, MLAs, MLCs do not have access to KCR and are unhappy that they are not involved in any government or party issue. Contrary to this, Congress was a national party which believes in democracy and freedom of speech. He said sometimes a section of media blows out some issues out of proportion.

“The cost of Rafale fighter cannot be a secret”

“I’m a former fighter pilot and had flown MIG-21 and MIG-23 while serving at Pakistan and China borders. There is no need to reveal the fighting capabilities like the range, missiles, etc., But the price cannot be a secret. Earlier, Government of India had purchased Mirage, Jaguar and other fighter jets. Though their operational details were not revealed, but their costs were never a secret,” said Uttam Kumar Reddy said.

The former fighter pilot (Uttam) said that the BJP has been making a hue and cry over AgustaWestland helicopters over pricing issue while it wants to keep the cost of Rafale a secret, he said. (NSS)