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Is Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi safe? Delhi police is worried

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

Congress members have been left baffled and angry by a police visit to ask about Rahul Gandhi`s physical features last week. Delhi police later said that it was just a routine security survey.

“If at all there was need to know his features or get his photograph, he is an MP. It can be had from the internet or a website. All his records are also available in Parliament,” a senior party member said.

Congress Vice-President  Rahul Gandhi who was supposed to be back in the country by March 10, will now be back by March end, sources revealed.

The MP from Amethi has been missing in action for a month now and has not only missed the 130th Foundation Day of Congress but was also conspicuous by his absence when his party members marched from Parliament to the Rashtrapati Bhawan this Tuesday in protest against the government’s land reforms. Rahul Gandhi is likely to miss all of first half of the Parliamentary session too.

The Congress had said earlier that Rahul Gandhi is “abroad for introspection and soul searching before starting a new journey in his life.” but since then has given no update about his whereabouts or returning plans.

Meanwhile Allahabad High Court turned down a petition seeking directions to the Centre and the SPG for searching for Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday.

Congress is likely to lodge a protest with the Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi.

 

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Brazil’s President Bolsonaro Faces First Defeat in Congress

The defeat on the floor of the house came one day after Bolsonaro fired a senior minister amid a scandal.

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Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro arrives at the inauguration ceremony of the new president of the Parliamentary Front of Agriculture (FPA), at the Clube Naval, in Brasilia, Jan. 19, 2019. VOA

Brazil’s lower chamber handed right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro his first defeat in Congress on Tuesday, the day before his government presents its most important legislative proposal to rein in a gaping budget deficit and spur growth.

The house voted overwhelmingly to suspend an executive order by the Bolsonaro government that altered Brazil’s freedom of information law to broaden the number of officials allowed to designate data and documents as secret or ultra-secret.

Lawmakers voted 367 to 57 to fast-track a bill overturning the secrecy measure and government whips were unable to muster votes to avoid defeat.

The bill must still be voted on by the Senate, but the reversal showed that Bolsonaro, who took office on Jan. 1, has not yet been able to organize a coalition in Congress to back his legislative agenda.

On Wednesday, Bolsonaro will send to Congress his plan to overhaul Brazil’s generous and costly pension system that eats up more than half of federal spending and is the main factor behind an unsustainable budget deficit.

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FILE – Gustavo Bebianno in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sept. 29, 2018. VOA

Approval of pension reform is vital for the recovery of investor confidence in Latin America’s largest economy.

The defeat on the floor of the house came one day after Bolsonaro fired a senior minister amid a scandal involving campaign financing for some of his party’s congressional candidates in the October elections.

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The ousted minister, Gustavo Bebianno, was instrumental in getting Bolsonaro elected but had a run-in with one of the president’s sons, triggering the weeks-old government’s first cabinet crisis.

In a note to clients, analysts at Eurasia Group said the scandal indicated the administration’s political team was in disarray, but they still expected the pension reform to get passed, albeit in a less ambitious version. (VOA)