By Rahil Nora Chopra
After the Lok Sabha election, Congress President Rahul Gandhi resigned from the post. But political observers who are watching the Congress closely, are saying that for decades the Congress has not planned for life without the Gandhi-Nehru family. It last happened after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi: that was the period when under PV Narasimha Rao, the party was weakened and splintered despite the government at the Centre, and things took a turn to worse when Sitaram Kesari became the president of the party. The odds the party now faces are greater, and the main rival BJP has more popular appeal and presence all over the country. At present, in the opposition, the Congress has no leader Like Jayaprakash Narayan, Raj Narain, Chandrashekhar, Jagjivan Ram, Jyoti Basu and George Fernandes, who could counter the BJP for popularity at this time. It is the decline and weakness of the Congress party that had given rise to regional forces without a national vision in the states. At present, the Congress has immediate goal to keep power in five states where they have governments and the party leaders are meeting to pressure Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi to come forward to lead the party from front and save the Congress. Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has backed a young leader to become party president of the Congress in the wake of Rahul Gandhi’s resignation. According to him, with a large and growing young population in the country, the president should be young.
DIDI BROADENS DALIT, TRIBAL OUTREACH IN BENGAL
After the Lok Sabha election, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is working hard to strengthen her party TMC in West Bengal. For this, she has instructed the party workers and leaders that she will not tolerate any commission or corruption in the government programmes. Secondly, she has granted 10 per cent reservation to economically weaker section of the upper caste in education and state government jobs. She called all the MLAs of SC-ST and adivasis of all parties and asked them to give suggestions for the welfare of these communities. The current round of outreach stems from TMC’s loss of Lok Sabha seats in these areas to BJP. The BJP has won most of the Adivasi seats, especially in Purulia, Bankura and Birbhum district. In all three districts, the BJP has won most of the seats, and especially in tea gardens, where Adivasi tea labour has openly supported BJP. It is interesting that Mamata’s effort to help Adivasi and SC-ST has been appreciated by all the opposition parties, including the BJP. In fact, Didi is working hard on these issues due to the assembly election due in 2021.
RAJE SIDELINED IN RAJASTHAN BJP AFTER LAST ASSEMBLY POLL DEFEAT
Former Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje Scindia is going through a bad phase. One time everybody was trying to get the blessing of Vasundhara Raje for their rise in BJP, but soon after the defeat in Rajasthan assembly election and after the victory in Lok Sabha 2019 elections, the strong Vasundhara Raje has become the weakest BJP leader in Rajasthan. The BJP high command thinks it is due to Vasundhara Raje that the BJP lost the assembly election. The saffron high command has ignored Vasundhara Raje and inducted her opponent Gajendra Singh Shekhawat into the Union Cabinet and has made OM Birla the speaker of the Lok Sabha. This created a sense in the BJP workers and other leaders that New Delhi has totally ignored former chief minister Vasundhara Raje. In fact, after the death of Madan Lal Saini, a one-time confidant of Vasundhara Raje, the BJP high command has shown their intention that the post of the State BJP president will be given to a young leader, for which the few names are doing the rounds already, including that of MLA Satish Poonia, former minister Arun Chaturvedi, MLA Madan Dilawar and Lok Sabha MP Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. All the four are from the anti-Raje camp and have RSS background. It seems that new State president will be the new Chief Ministerial candidate of the BJP in the next assembly election.
HOUSING THE BJP VETERANS: SUSHMA SHOWS THE WAY
Sushma Swaraj has vacated her Lutyens bungalow and moved to a South Delhi address. Uma Bharati is also set to follow suit. However, two BJP veterans LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, will neither vacate nor will be asked to vacate their respective bungalows at Prithviraj Road and Raisina Road. Advani and Joshi are both covered by Z-plus security and therefore will be given at least one year’s extension. The reason being cited is security concern. Meanwhile, 2 Krishna Menon Marg which is vacated by Arun Jaitley recently and is one of the larger government bungalows, is being shunned by central Ministers, who are reluctant to move in as they consider its “vastu” negative. They pointed out that Jaitley’s numerous health problems started only after he moved into the bungalow and left his private residence in South Delhi, which he occupied when he was the leader of opposition and a Minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee govt.
OWAISI’S AIMIM GETS LOP SPOT IN TELANGANA ASSEMBLY
This time Asaduddin Owaisi has a reason to smile as AIMIM got the clearance for nominating a MLA for the post of the opposition leader. AIMIM has long been dismissed as city-based party and have the strength confined to the Muslim-dominated area of Hyderabad. In 2014, the AIMIM was recognised as a state party and in 2018 it won a mere 2.7 per cent votes to 28.4 per cent for the Congress. However, it has now emerged as the number 2 party in the Telangana assembly because 12 of the Congress’s 19 Telangana MLAs have crossed over to K Chandrashekar Rao’s TRS and one has moved to Parliament leaving the Congress party with 6 MLAs, while AIMIM has 7 MLAs and the BJP has one. (IPA)