By Rahil Chopra
After Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar is also getting into the act trying to forge the unity of Opposition parties before the Lok Sabha elections in 2019. Sharad Pawar met Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray and discussed the issue and he is in touch with Thackeray regularly. Pawar also met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and discussed the issue. Congress president Rahul Gandhi visited Pawar’s residence to discuss the issue in length. Recently Pawar called a meeting of leaders of opposition parties in which Mamata Banerjee played a big role. Pawar is also in touch with Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, CPI, CPI(M) and sending his emissaries to different states to meet the heads of regional parties with his message of opposition unity against the BJP. Political observers haven’t failed to see Pawar’s prime ministerial ambitions behind his moves.
BJP SEES WRITING ON THE WALL IN SOUTH
BJP is worried about its prospects in the southern states following the rift with Chandrababu Naidu, which makes its position difficult in Andhra Pradesh while Telangana. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is working hard to form a third front. With the recent developments on Cauvery water distribution, BJP is on a back foot as the agitation for the formation of Cauvery Management Board is gaining strength in Tamil Naidu. DMK chief MK Stalin has declared that the agitation will continue till the formation of the board. In Karnataka, the assembly election is being held on 12 May, which will decide the fate of the party in south. BJP has a hard task on hand if it wants to improve its position in the southern states.
NEW FACES IN AICC REGORGANISATION
The reorganization of Congress as hinted by Rahul Gandhi in last AICC session in Delhi saw its first result when Ashok Gehlot was appointed to replace Janardhan Dwivedi as general secretary. Rahul has appointed a few young faces in the organisation and it seems he will accommodate the old guards and colleagues of Sonia Gandhi’s Cabinet in the Congress working Committee (CWC). Among the new appointees are Yashomati Thakur, MLA as AICC secretary attached to AICC general secretary Karnataka K.C. Venugopal, Chandan Yadav as secretary for Chattisgarh in place of Kameshwar Patel, Rajeev Satav MP as the AICC incharge of Gujarat and Jitendra Singh, ex-Union minister as incharge of Odisha in place of B.K Hariprasad. Lalji Desai has been appointed as the chief organiser of the ALL India Congress Seva Dal in place of Mahendra Joshi, while Shaktisinh Gohil replaces Dr C P Joshi as AICC In-charge of Bihar and Anugrah Narayan Singh comes in for Uttarakhand. It is believed that Rahul Gandhi will have his team members contest for the coming Lok Sabha elections.
SCINDIA AND COMPANY PLEAD GUILTY
Stung by the by-election losses, Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhra Raje and the state party leaders have started visiting the districts, pleading guilty before the party workers. During her visit to Sri Ganganagar, the Chief Minister pleaded with the party workers to stop protesting against her government and promised to fulfill all their demands. In Kota, home minister Gulab Chand Kataria did a repeat of the exercise and appealed to the workers not to punish the party for the lapses in the working of the ministers, MLAs and civic body chiefs. (IPA)