By Rahil Nora Chopra
As the BJP faces a formidable challenge in Uttar Pradesh in 2019 due to the Samajwadi Party-BSP tie-up, political observers are watching keenly what counter move BJP president Amit Shah has up his sleeve. As a first step the party is seen likely to replace its state president Mahendra Nath Pandey and appoint an OBC in his place. It is also likely that the most backward caste (MBC) sections such as Rajbhars, Nishads, Mallahs and Kumhars would be included in the Schedule Caste category and remove them from the OBC grouping. This was a promise made by the BJP in 2014. The party is contemplating declaring sub-quota reservations for OBCs and SCs. This would mean that MBCs, who voted heavily for the BJP in recent years, would now find that most reserved jobs in the OBC category would be hogged by the Yadavs, the backbone of the SP. Similarly in Mayawati’s vote bank, it would have to make space for more depressed SC castes such as Valmikis, Koris, Pasis and Dhobis.
NITISH IN SEARCH OF A NEW AVTAR
As a follower of Ram Manohar Lohia, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has cultivated his image as a socialist and pro-poor throughout the country but now he is busy doing a makeover as a pro BJP Hindutva leader keeping the 2019 Lok Sabha election in view. Now he has left the way of Lohia, Jaya Prakesh and Karpoori Thakur and is going to visit every temple in Bihar. Recently he visited Janki Mandir at the time of the festival and promised to construct a big Janki Mandir, forgetting that he quoted Lohia so many times against President, PM and elected leaders visiting temples. Thus, it is clear that Nitish is turning a new page to be with Hindutva forces.
MAMATA TURNS IRE AGAINST CONGRESS
After BJP, the Congress is on the radar of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in view of the Dharna Pradarshan of Congress workers against the violence in panchayat polls. Mamata says how can more than 50,000 nomination papers be filed by the opposition parties when they are blaming TMC for stopping the process. On this issue Mamata is so angry with Congress that her party has not signed the Impeachment Motion which was moved in Rajya Sabha against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and told the press that she was not in favour of intervening in judicial matters. She said she had advised Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi not to move the Impeachment Motion. She also highlighted the Congress dichotomy of wanting her party to help in parliament while fighting with TMC workers in West Bengal.
LEADERSHIP CHANGE FAILS TO CURB RAJASTHAN INFIGHTING
The BJP chief in Rajasthan was changed to contain infighting, but the move seems to have misfired with the dissident ministers stepping up their activities. The infighting has led to a situation where the officers in the secretariat have stopped attending to development work and the movement of files has stalled over the past two months pending the retirement of chief secretary Nihal Chand Goel. The new incumbent, Devendra Bushan Gupta, has taken charge, but Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje wants to bring large scale changes in the secretariat. The bureaucrats are, however, not yet in a mood to start moving the files as the assembly elections are coming and they do not want to be seen obliging party workers, who are known to get involved in transfers and postings.
UP MLA FRONT-RUNNER AS YOUTH CONGRESS LEADER
Following the changes in AICC office bearers, Congress President Rahul Gandhi now wants to change office bearers of all India Youth Congress and has consulted the state leaders on the appointment of a new national Youth Congress president. He has already interviewed 16 Youth Congress leaders for this purpose, but according to sources, Aditi Singh, a Congress MLA from Rae Bareli, is the front runner for the post of national president. The plus point in her favour is that she represents Rae Bareli constituency and belongs to the Thakur Community.
DIGVIJAY’S ENTRY DISTURBS MADHYA PRADESH EQUILIBRIUM
A consensus seemed to have emerged that Jyotiraditya Scindia was the best bet as chief minister candidate for the Madhya Pradesh assembly polls. Even Kamal Nath appeared to accept that the old order had to make way for the new. But Digvijay Singh’s return after his Narmada Yatra has upset the equilibrium. Though he claimed his yatra was a spiritual exercise, the moment he returned to Bhopal he jumped into active politics. Digvijay teamed up with Kamal Nath to block Scindia. Now Kamal Nath has taken over as PCC chief leaving the chief ministerial issue open. (IPA)
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