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After a hectic campaigning, polling and finally counting on 25th of November the results of the prestigious press club of India elections have been declared. The panel of Gautam Lahiri, Manoranjan Bharti, Vinay Kumar, Sanjay Singh and Mahua defeated their nearest rival and stood victorious with a resounding majority.

The president of the panel re elected for the second time with his entire team got record number of 1108 votes , literally defeating the rival panel of Sen, Gandhi and Faridi on all seats except one of the managing committee. This is definitely the historic victory of the sitting panel of PCI which has been continuously winning since 2010 having made revolutionary changes in the inner decor of the club in terms of its complete facelift to give it a magnificient ambience to the satisfaction of the club members and their families who often visit here for family get togethers as well.

Though there are more than 8 thousand members of the club but the polling was number was 1721 with two votes going invalid. This time about 250 more members voted compared to the previous years’ election. Though there were charges and counter charges against each other with the rival panel working hard on anti establishment theme, it seems that despite their best efforts the rival team could’nt make it this time as well, the reason being the PCI members have voted for the development and  constructive work having been done by the Gautam Lahiri Panel the previous year including holding protest demonstrations to demand justice for the scribes late Gauri Lankesh and Shantanu Bhowmik killed despicably while performing their journalistic duties.

The elections were held for the posts of President, Vice President, Secretary General, joint secretary, treasurer and 16 members of the managing committee of the Press Club if India. The current panel won on all seats massively with a single seat of managing committee going to the rival faction. Senior journalist Umakant Lakhera, Vijay Shanker Chaturvedi both members of the MC got good number of votes viz. 806 and 737 etc while the treasurer Mahua, a women candidate for treasurer’s post made a record of sort of receiving highest number of votes i.e. 1016 more or less at par with the president Gautam Lahri who secured more than 1100 votes.

The counting for votes started at 12 in the afternoon on 25th Nov and the results were declared at 3.00 AM 26th November. Thank God its finally over in a cordial manner. Congrats to the new team and to the defeated team as well with a message to them that it’s never the end. It’s always the next time. The elections were ably conducted by senior PCI member MMC Sharma and his team of efficient colleagues.

It may be recalled that the idea of Press Club of India was first mted in the year 1930 by the then veteran journalist Durga Dass who was with the Associated Press but the club actually came into existence in 1957. He once visited England and was impressed by the press club of England. After coming back he worked on the idea to set a press club of India and finally it came into existence. Since then the club is functioning from the same building situated at Raisina Road. But since the building once the mess/ club of British officers, prior to its handing over to the PCI management more than 60 years ago is now too short in a space for PCI having the membership of more than 8 thousand scribes. The building has been included in archives and therefore no additions can be made in the building’s original structure. However, PCI has been allotted a new bigger space in front of Shastri Bhawan, Dr Rajendra Prasad Road and technical formalities are being completed to take over the charge of the plot before starting the construction work , though it’ll still take years, I believe. Various prime ministers, iconic personalities, film stars and politicians of eminence have visited the club and held their press conferences from time to time and the trend is still continuing. Majority of the press club members are of the opinion that it should come out of the label of being just a club for drink and dine purposes but should rather make it a forum for healthy debates, discussions and interactions on issues of national significance maintaining the highest standards of journalistic ethics and values. They say that the club should in essence represent its full indpendence, ethics, principles and morals and should continue fighting for the right of free, fair and fearless journalism and a forum to express fearless views irrespective of any pressure or subjugation either from the authorities concerned or any other channel.

SUNIL NEGI

 

 

 

 

 

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The Gujarat election is becoming tumultuous and stormy day by day and despite prime minister Narendra Modi’s impressive public meetings enticing full assurance of support from majority of the electorates on Gujarat pride issue, political analysts say that the 24 year old leader Hardik Patel’s increasing anti BJP and pro Rahul and Congress campaign has to a great extent shaken and politically threatened the state’s BJP leadership.

Though there is not an inkling of doubt that various opinion polls have so far shown BJP winning the Gujarat polls, but as the election date is nearing while Nehru Gandhi scion and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and Patidar leader carrying the majority support of over 12% votes of the influensive patidar community Hardik Patel, OBC leader Jignesh and Alpesh Thakor have accelerated their political campaigning and vociferous attacks on the ruling BJP including its top leadership, already facing an anti incumbency factor due to its being in power for the last 19 protracted years the enhanced tirade of the opposition seems to have visibly shaken the state ruling party leadership and it was on 12th November that an alleged morphed CD of Hardik Patel was made available to TV channels by unknown sources to defame his image.

This clearly shows how badly is the state BJP shaken and disturbed. However,  equally visibly upset was the Patidar leader then and  had to become offensive when he accused the state BJP leaders of allegedly planting a morphed sex CD showing somebody like him with a woman to pre strategically denigrate his image. Denying and outrightly rejecting the highly objectionable CD showing him with a woman in an uncompromising act Hardik had accused the BJP of intentionally doctoring it to defame his image, reputation and increasing popularity.

He added that it’s the old tactics and habit of BJP that when they become apprehensive of losing the polls they resort to such cheap and unethical practices to defame their political rivals.The BJP has however, outrightly denied. Similarly, the BJP was in a dock earliar, last month, when prior to this incident, one of Hardik’s associate Narendra Patel has presented a first instalment of wads of currency, Rs ten lakhs, in front of the media given to him by the Gujarat state BJP leaders as a bribe to join the BJP assuring 90 lakhs to be presented later on.

Patel’s exposure has really led to the defamation of the BJP when the state campainging for the election is in a full swing. As the dates of elections are nearing the poll of Gujarat has heated up to the maximum with Rahul Gandhi and his entire team holding good number of public meetings being further strengthened as well, by the anti BJP campaigning of Hardik Patel and OBC leaders’ like Jignesh.

However, the Gujarat election this time too seems to be going in favour of the BJP as political analysts say that come what may the Gujarat pride factor and the freebies delivered and assured by prime minister Narendra Modi and his government to the tune of several thousand crores pertaining to its development and jobs to the weaker sections will definitely bore fruits and help in BJP’s return for another term.

The spate of incessant development in Gujarat during and after Modi’s tenure and his every possible efforts to break into the Patidar vote bank by participating in the Narayanswamy Mutt event which comprises of maximum devotees of the patidar community compounded with giving the Gujaraties a direct flight from London to Ahmedabad and a hi speed bullet train project worth more than Rs.100 crores are some of the revolutionary developmental achievements that are bound to go in BJP’S FAVOUR.

Yes, but the Congress is bound to improve its tally this time due to Rahul’s increasing efforts and anti BJP stance of Hardik, Jignesh and Alpesh Thakur the leaders of Patidar, OBC and the dalit communities. However, whatever, may be the result of this election but one thing is definitely confirmed that despite the Congress facing defeats in several states in the recently held elections, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has always kept his moral high as a strong and dashing leader of the oldest political party of the country.

His increasing mobilisation capacity and single handedly taking on the ruling party tirades in Gujarat and Himachal despite all odds has proved beyond doubt that the Gandhi family scion is a horse of long race who believes in strugglung relentlessly even if he loses every battle. This fighting spirit of Rahul Gandhi has atleast kept the spirit of the rank and file of the party renewed with enthusiasm and potent zeal that will definitely help the party come to power again at the centre, sooner or later.

SUNIL NEGI