By Rahil Nora Chopra
In the wake of the by-election victories, the family of former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav is rallying behind him. Father Mulayam Singh Yadav was seen in red cap and a grin after a long time during the Lok Sabha session. According to Akhilesh, the family has approved the alliance with Mayawati and after a long gap Shivpal Yadav has met the party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav as part of the unity efforts and to end the family feud that cost the SP the 2017 Assembly elections. The family has apparently agreed to bury the differences and re-unite ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in which SP plans to contest as part of a broader alliance at the national level. Shivpal Yadav is seen likely to get a key position in the party.
DALIT MPs BECOMING MORE VOCAL
The number of disgruntled Dalit MPs in BJP is increasing by the day after the arrest of large numbers of Dalits during the Bharat Bandh on April 2. The BJP MPs are wary of facing the Dalits in their respective constituencies. The list includes Etawah MP Ashok Kumar Dohre, Bahraich MP Savitri Bai Phule and Chhote Lal Kharwar from Robertsganj and now Dr Yashwant from Bijnoor have complained against the treatment meted out to Dalits in the party. Former UP BJP chief Laxmi Kant Vajpayee openly blamed the Uttar Pradesh government for arresting innocent people during the Bharat Bandh and the Flag March in Meerut. Samajwadi Party district president Raj Pal Singh claimed that while the government was taking back cases of Muzaffarnagar riots, it was arresting innocent Dalits.
DIGVIJAY COMPLETES YATRA, PITS HIMSELF AGAINST CHOUHAN
Congress leader Digvijay Singh, or Diggi Raja as he is fondly known, has spent nearly six months on the Narmada Parikrama pilgrimage, which he humbly refers to as apolitical. He concluded his yatra at the river’s Barman Ghat in Narsinghpur district on 9 April after covering a distance of more than 3,200 km by foot. Before this, in 1983 former prime minister Chandra Shekhar had spent five and half months in a Bharat Yatra by foot. A large number of Congress leaders and his supporters, including former union ministers Kantilal Bhuria and Suresh Pachouri along with state Congress president Arun Yadav reached the ghat to greet Singh on the completion of his yatra. Recognising the political overtones of Singh’s purported spiritual journey, during which he covered 110 out of the 230 assembly seats. Not only did he connect with his support base but is also back in public mind. All senior Congress leaders like Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Ajay Singh and Arun Yadav joined him at some point in his journey and Union Minister Uma Bharti sent her good wishes in a letter to Digvijay Singh for his successful Yatra. Congress president Rahul Gandhi deputed Ashok Gehlot to participate in the yatra. Diggi Raja has managed to catapult himself in a direct contest with chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who had held a five month long Narmada Seva Yatra last year. The contrast is really stark as Chouhan took a chopper for the yatra.
TRIVENDRA SINGH UNDONE BY COLLEAGUES
In Uttarakhand the problems for Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat is mounting with each passing day. His own colleagues are creating the impression that he is a weak chief minister unable to control the bureaucracy. But Rawat is fighting against corruption in the secretariat, but fighting a difficult battle. He intervened effectively when private medical colleges raised the fees by reversing the decision. But the dissidents are carrying on a campaign against him, saying he is not in control.
BJP SUSPICIOUS OF GEHLOT ELEVATION
The elevation of Ashok Gehlot as AICC general secretary incharge, organisation and training has BJP leaders worried as his organisational capabilities are well known. He proved his ability in the last assembly election in Rajasthan and in Ahmed Patel’s Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat. In fact, Congress president Rahul Gandhi likes his simplicity and his organisational capacity and wants him to unite the state Congress at the time when there is big infighting in the Rajasthan BJP after losing the by-election. (IPA)