Rae Bareli: Congress workers from Uttar Pradesh are now demanding that the party should project Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as the partys chief ministerial candidate for the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. While party leaders, who held day-long deliberations with the Congress General Secretary in-charge of eastern part of the state, said that the party’s revival was sure if Gandhi was projected as Chief Minister in 2022. Talking to reporters after the thanksgiving dinner hosted by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli on Wednesday night, former Varanasi MP Rajesh Misra said: “We are requesting Priyanka Gandhi to strengthen the party for the upcoming bypolls and state elections. We have also conveyed to her that she should become the chief ministerial face to challenge the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).” Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France “Most of us believe that the main reason behind Congress’s drubbing is weak organisation in most constituencies. The same was also conveyed in the meeting. We have decided to work harder and strengthen our party at the booth level across Uttar Pradesh. “If Priyanka Gandhi starts a door to door campaign then we will definitely form the next government in the state,” he added. Congress candidate from Fatehpur constituency and former MP, Rakesh Sachan, said: “Party workers want Priyanka Gandhi to lead Congress in the Assembly polls. We have lost the elections because the BJP was able to successfully polarise the elections.” Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics Prize Former BJP MP Savitri Bai Phule who had lost on a Congress ticket from Bahraich, meanwhile, said: “We have lost the polls because the Lok Sabha elections did not happen through ballot paper system. “The BJP has muzzled the democracy and irregularities in EVM were witnessed everywhere. I will request the leadership to start a nationwide movement demanding future polls be held through ballot paper.” Meanwhile, Sonia Gandhi’s dinner at the Bhuemau guest house was attended by local leaders and booth level workers. She thanked them for contributing to her victory for the fourth consecutive term from Rae Bareli. Priyanka, meanwhile, urged Congress leaders to be prepared for the struggle ahead and said: “Apna maan bana lijiye…kaam karna hai, dil se karna hai toh sangharsh karna padega..(make up your mind, we have to work.. work with your heart and take up the struggle).” She also said she will return to review the poll performance and would sit with individual leaders to take detailed feedback. She also pulled up party workers in Rae Bareli and cautioned them: “Yeh chunav Sonia Gandhi ne aur janta ne jitaya hai. Sachai yeh hai keh aap sab mein se jis ne dil se kaam kiya hai uski jaankari aap ko hai aur kisne nahi kiya hai uski jaankari main karungi (The truth is that this election has been won by Sonia Gandi and the people of Rae Bareli. Those who have worked for the party know this in their hearts and I will find out all those who have not).”
“The Security Council welcomes the continued engagement of the Regional Initiative and, in this regard, also welcomes the deployment of the first elements of the multinational security presence tasked with the protection of returning political leaders,” the Council president, Ambassador Patricia Durrant of Jamaica, said in a statement read out at an open meeting of the Council early Thursday evening. “The Council calls on all the Burundian parties to support this undertaking, and expresses its gratitude to the Government of South Africa for its contribution to the cause of peace in Burundi.” In the statement, the Council also condemned the recent attacks on civilians by the Force for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) and the National Liberation Front (FNL) and expressed grave concern that the frequency of such acts had increased.The Council reminded the two armed groups that the installation of a broad-based government in accordance with an internationally accepted peace process made armed rebellion an unacceptable means of political expression. It also reiterated its call for an immediate suspension of hostilities in Burundi and for armed groups to enter into negotiations to reach a definitive ceasefire.The presidential statement was read out during the Council’s second meeting of the day on Burundi. Earlier, the Council was briefed by Berhanu Dinka, Special Representative of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for the Great Lakes Region and Chairman of the Implementation Monitoring Committee.In his statement, Mr. Dinka said it was now up to Burundian political leaders, with support from the region and the international community, to ensure the success of the transitional institutions. Failure was not an alternative, he stressed.Mr. Dinka noted that one of the remaining challenges for Burundi was to ensure a ceasefire because as long as violence persisted, the peace process would remain fragile. The other task was the reconstruction and development of the country; the only way Burundians could be made to continue support for the peace process was if their lives were positively affected by recent changes.