A day after the Congress leadership issued a month-long nationwide ban on its leaders taking part in television debates, the crisis-ridden opposition party has reversed the decision - but only for Kerala.
According to sources, the clarification came after Kerala Congress chief Mullapally Ramachandran and another senior leader contacted party high command and were told the ban does not apply for the southern state.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, on Wednesday had posted a message on Twitter in which he asked media channels "to not place Congress representatives on their shows".
Party leaders explained the gag as a temporary measure to give themselves time to sort out the many problems plaguing them; the list of problems include party president Rahul Gandhi's insistence that he be allowed to resign, and a non-Gandhi be named as the new leader.
Kerala was one of the very few bright spots for the Congress in a disastrous 2019 Lok Sabha election result. The party won 15 of 20 seats in the state and its allies claimed another three.
The state also saved under-fire Congress president Rahul Gandhi the embarrassment of being eliminated from parliament after losing the family stronghold of Amethi to BJP leader Smriti Irani; Mr Gandhi contested and won from Wayanad.
Nevertheless, the election saw the party only marginally better its worst ever seats tally (44 in 2014) and fall even further behind the BJP in terms of vote share.The party was wiped out in 18 states and union territories and couldn't even win in states it claimed in December - Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
On the other hand, the BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi won 303 seats to win an incredible back-to-back majority, a feat previously achieved only by Congress icons Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.
PM Modi will be sworn-in for his second term in office at 7 pm at Rashtrapati Bhavan today, in the presence of 8,000 guests, including leaders of Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan.
Mr Gandhi and his mother, Sonia Gandhi, who was Congress president before her son took over, will both attend the ceremony.
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