By Rahil Nora Chopra
Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav may enter Rajya Sabha as the party’s nominee when elections are held to the Upper House in April. Six senior Rajya Sabha MPs belonging to the party are retiring in April. Prominent among them include party Vice President Kironmony Nanda, Darshan Singh, Naresh Agarwal, Jaya Bachchan and Chaudhary Munavyar Salim. Samajwadi Party has only 47 MLAs, which means that the party can send just one member to Rajya Sabha. The entitlement of the lone seat would mean there will be tough fight among the aspirants and Akhilesh, by opting to be the candidate, hopes to solve the tangle.
SHARAD BI TO UNITE BIHAR OPPOSITION
After the jailing of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, Sharad Yadav is trying to unite all the Opposition parties to fight against BJP in Bihar. According to political observers, the idea is to ensure a direct fight between the Congress-RJD opposition and the BJP in the coming Lok Sabha elections in the state in 2019. The opposition camp feels that chief minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) would become an insignificant player. Though Nitish is set to start his anti-dowry Andolan after the liquor ban, so far it has had no impact. There is even a feeling among the opposition leaders that Nitish Kumar may join the BJP before the next general elections.
AICC SESSION BY FEBRUARY END
The Congress is planning to convene the AICC session in the last week of February after the end of parliament’s budget session. The venue is likely to be Mohali in Punjab. It will be an important session as Rahul Gandhi will officially take over as a party president. Similarly, the formation of the new Congress Working Committee (CWC) is also expected to be announced at the session, which will also finalise the strategy for the next Lok Sabha elections.
OPPOSITION FORGES FLOOR COORDINATION
The parliament session, which began on Monday, paved the way for a meeting between the Congress and other Opposition parties for floor coordination to counter the government on various issues. The meeting was held at the residence of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, where the parties decided to unite against BJP in parliament. The Opposition is of the view that the BJP would aim to shape the elections based on Modi’s personality and his popularity. The meeting was attended by Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma, Sharad Yadav, CPI leader D Raja, NC President Farooq Abdullah and NCP leader Tariq Anwar and Praful Patel. Representatives of SP, BSP, TMC and RJD were not present. Those in attendance suggested that such meetings should be held regularly so as to take up joint action to fight the Central government.
RAHUL TO VISIT PARTY OFFICE TWICE A WEEK
Congress President Rahul Gandhi has announced that he will visit the party office at 24 Akbar Road twice a week, preferably on Tuesdays and Fridays and it will become mandatory for the office bearers to be present. Congress workers and leaders are happy with this decision as they believe this will benefit the party and lead to discussion of major issues, which will be made meaningful by the party president’s presence. (IPA)