Indian media: A 'very strict' Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi has appealed Congress members to work together for the party
Image caption Rahul Gandhi has appealed Congress members to work together for the party

Senior Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi's warning to his colleagues over discipline and more controversies in the Indian Premier League (IPL) are making the headlines in Indian newspapers.

Mr Gandhi "warned the squabbling members of the Congress party's Delhi unit that indiscipline will be dealt with an iron fist", the India Today website reported.

The party vice-president was "left fuming as he was bombarded with complaints during a five-hour interaction with separate groups of Congress members in Delhi", it added.

"My mother, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, may be lenient, but I am not like that. I am very strict.

"Indira Gandhi (former PM and his grandmother) is my inspiration and once I get after somebody, I never let up. Party indiscipline and anti-party activities will not be tolerated anymore," The Indian Express quoted him as saying.

Meanwhile, most newspapers, including The Hindu, The Times of India and The Indian Express, are running banner headlines on the latest revelations about spot-fixing allegations in the cash-rich IPL cricket tournament.

The Times of India reports that Mumbai police have summoned the chief of Chennai Super Kings team Gurunath Maeiyappan for questioning.

Mr Gurunath is the son-in-law of N Srinivasan, chief of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and this link has not gone unnoticed in media reports.

"Cops land at BCCI chief's family's doorstop," reads The Times of India headline, and The Indian Express leads with "police summon BCCI chief's son-in-law" on its front page.

The media are also reporting the International Cricket Council's (ICC) decision to withdraw prominent umpire Asad Rauf from the upcoming Champions Trophy in England and Wales, reports

"The decision has been made after media reports on Wednesday indicated that the umpire was under investigation by Mumbai police," the ICC said in a statement.

But away from the controversies, the Rajasthan Royals will take on the Mumbai Indians in Calcutta on Friday for a spot in the IPL finals to be played on Sunday.

The Royals have been the focus of media attention since the Delhi police arrested three of its players over spot-fixing allegations.

But the team, under its inspiring captain Rahul Dravid, has still made it this far in the tournament.

The former India Test captain said the arrest of the three players felt like "a bereavement", a feeling he had never experienced in his international career which lasted for more than 15 years, reports The Times of India.

Dravid says he hopes that a firm eye on the trophy will help the team win.

'Human calculator'

Meanwhile, Mayank Sharma, 15, has made it to the Limca Book of World Records for mentally adding 10 10-digit numbers in two minutes and five seconds, Hindustan Times reports.

The teenager broke an earlier record by Spain's Marc Jornet Sanz, who accomplished the same task in 3:19 last year, the paper adds.

And finally, it appears that two families from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh seem to agree that "marriage is a child's play".

In the state's Rae Bareilly district, a bride married a doll after the groom, who is in jail over assault charges, failed to turn up for the wedding after he was denied bail.

The families had expected his plea to be accepted, but later went ahead with the ceremony in his absence to avoid financial losses on the wedding expenses.

"According to a suggestion by the priest, a cloth gudda (doll) was prepared and all the rituals completed by the bride with the makeshift groom. The bride even performed the pheras (seven steps around the fire) with the doll amid the chanting of mantras (religious phrases)," the groom's father, Thakur Deen, told the Deccan Herald.

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