Trinamool Congress has embarked on a new strategy to woo the majority community by their new strategy of reaching out to priests by organising conferences in different districts. TMC leaders have been addressing Hindu priests at these meetings. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee believes she will have an important role in Delhi after the Lok Sabha elections next year. West Bengal has 42 Lok Sabha seats and the TMC wants to win the maximum possible. TMC district president Ajit Maity at a priest rally told them: “Do not surrender your identity to any emperor from Delhi or anyone carrying the saffron flag”. The TMC’s outreach to Hindu groups, especially Hindu Samhati, has annoyed the BJP as it was a far right outfit set up in 2008 by former RSS pracharak Tapan Ghosh. A district wise analysis of assembly and Lok Sabha elections shows Trinamool has fared poorly in Muslim majority districts of Murshdabad, Malda and North Dinajpur, places where the Left and the Congress did better but TMC performed well in the Hindu majority districts. Mamata Banerjee is also lending her own touch to the campaign.
HARDIK PATEL TO CAMPAIGN IN BJP-RULES STATES
Patidar quota agitation leader Nayak Hardik Patel has declared that he would campaign against the ruling BJP government in the coming assembly election in Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Rajasthan. He has virtually challenged anyone who tries to stop him from this. He said he would continue to highlight the issue of youth unemployment, the pitiable condition of the farmers and also problems of education in these states.
BJP FIELDS NON-TEMPLE MAN IN GORAKHPUR
For the first time in three decades, Gorakhpur will have a candidate from outside Gorakh Nath Temple in the Lok Sabha by-election scheduled on March 11. BJP has named Upendra Shukla, regional unit president, as the party’s nominee. The choice of Shukla is seen as an outreach by the party to Brahmins, who are the largest upper caste community in the state and have been its traditional supports. The by-elections were necessitated by the resignation of chief minister Yogi Adityanath and deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya from Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seat respectively.
NITISH BID TO RETAIN IMPORTANCE
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is worried about his party as the opposition parties and his own ministers are creating trouble on a day-to-day basis. Recently minister and BJP leader Vinod Singh made an adverse comment in Bhojpur on the death of CRPF Jawan in Jammu & Kashmir. Vinod Singh is also in charge of Bhojpur Mandal. The BJP wants to field its own candidate for the Araria Lok Sabha by-election; so Nitish Kumar has started meeting the Opposition leaders. Recently he went to the house of senior Congress leader Sadannad Singh during his visit to Khel Gaon. The buzz is that he is trying to continue to be a centre power in Bihar.
WHY MAMATA IS AGAINST MODI’S HEALTH PLAN
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is against the Modi government’s national health security plan because she has her own similar scheme in operation in the state in the name of Didi Care Yojana, which is very popular. The TMC stand is that when the Didi Care Yojana is working well there is no need for a similar central scheme as the state has to bear 40 percent money for it. Mamata has also been against GST and demonization.
VASUNDHARA’S APPEASEMENT BUDGET
After the defeat of BJP in the Rajasthan by-elections, chief minister Vasundhara Raje has sought to placate the electorate through sops in the budget. Her budget this year promises to create1.8 lakh jobs for the youth and waive loans of up to 50,000 farmers. Other benefits announced in the budget include free travel in state roadways for senior citizens and 50 percent concession for the person accompanying them and a scooty for students who pass class 12th examination with more than 85 percent marks. The chief Minister is trying to please the youth ahead of the coming assembly elections. (IPA)