By Rahil Nora Chopra
At last Mamata Banerjee has also joined the fray for prime ministership in the 2019 elections. In the past she has never uttered a word on these lines, but people close to her are now openly bringing up the subject. Recently Omar Abdullah met Mamata in Kolkata and declared that she will be the leader of the front fighting BJP. He also praised Mamata’s work and development in west Bengal. She is organising an all opposition party rally at Brigade Parade Maidan in Kolkata on January 19 next year. She plans to tour the country in November and December to drum up support for it and invite state leaders. She has just met Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in Delhi to invite them to the rally and will soon meet Lalu Prasad Yadav son Tejashwi Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati and K Chandrasekhar Rao in this connection. She was to address students of Delhi’s St Stephen College, but the college authorities cancelled her invitation in the last minute. TMC has claimed that the event was cancelled at the behest of BJP and RSS.
MAYAWATI LAUNCHES PARALLEL ALLIANCE TALKS
Congress veteran Kamal Nath has favoured joining hands with Mayawati in the coming Madhya Pradesh assembly election, but the BSP leader is demanding seats for her party in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab and Karnataka for the Lok Sabha election in return. She is already separately negotiating with Ajit Yogi in Chhattisgarh, Chautala’s INLD in Haryana, Sharad Pawar in Maharashtra and Tejashwi Yadav in Bihar for seats. Mayawati has agreed to give 10 seats to Congress in UP in the coming Lok Sabha election, provided Congress agrees to part with sufficient number of seats in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh assembly election as well as for the Lok Sabha. But most of the senior Congress leaders are opposing an alliance with Mayawati because they feel shed had “stolen” the Dalit votes when she was in alliance with Congress in UP and her last minute alliance with the Akali Dal in the Punjab assembly election as well as with Kumaraswamy in Karnataka.
CWC DROP-OUTS FEEL AGGRIEVED
It seems Priyanka Gandhi did firefighting for brother Rahul, by persuading senor leaders dropped from the Congress Working Committee to attend the panel’s recent meeting. They included Karan Singh, BK Hari Prasad and CP Joshi. Priyanka appreciated their contribution to the organization and assured them that the party would certainly find new roles for them but Janardan Dwivedi, who lost his AICC general secretary position and Rajya Sabha nomination along with the CWC membership, refused to attend. Digvijay Singh had expressed his inability to attend as he had prior programme in Madhya Pradesh. Singh is said to be unhappy because Rahul Gandhi is not utilizing his experience and seniority.
RAMDEV DISILLUSIONED WITH MODI MAGIC
In the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha election yoga guru Ramdev had invited Modi to his ashram and declared him to be the next prime minister. But this time around, Ramdev seems to be annoyed because the Prime Minister refused to visit his Sankalp Purti Samapan Samaroh. He was also not invited to the Prime Minister’s oath ceremony. Now-a-days Baba Ramdev is meeting with Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav and loses no opportunity to praise these leaders when he gets a platform. Recently on the International Yoga Day Ramdev organised a camp in Kota Rajasthan with the help of Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje, where he praised Sonia and Rahul Gandhi for practising yoga and spoke about his good relations with them. Following this, Ramdev’s Patanjali mega food park has received many notices from GST. As a business guru, he has stopped talking politics and is now busy answering questions from different departments from UP and Uttarakhand.
MULAYAM PLOUGHS A LONELY FURROW
SP founder and patron Mulayam Singh Yadav stayed away from the party’s national executive meeting in Lucknow, which discussed the party’s alliance with Congress-BSP-RLD. Mulayam also skipped the convention held in Agra in October last year where his son Akhilesh Yadav was formally elected as a party President. In view of his absence from the second consecutive meeting of the party, senior leaders feel that Mulayam does not want to share the stage with Akhilesh. Akhilesh has formally written to all senior leaders seeking their opinion on the pre poll alliance. (IPA)