By Rahil Nora Chopra
The Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Trivendra Singh Rawat, and state BJP president, Ajay Bhatt, were present at Harki Pauri at the time the ashes of the recently deceased Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley were being immersed in River Ganga in Haridwar. But soon after, Rawat and Bhatt left for Dehradun, leaving behind the family of Arun Jaitley at Harki Pauri. After that, the family reached the Dam Kothi guesthouse, where there was nobody to receive them and to offer them food. Seeing this, the Patanjali mascot, yoga guru Ramdev, took them to Patanjali Yog Peeth and offered them food. According to BJP workers of Haridwar, the state leadership has ignored the Jaitley family, who had worked hard to bring the BJP into power. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi did pay a straight visit to his old loyalist Jaitley’s house after coming back from his extended foreign tour. It must be remembered that Arun Jaitley was the chief troubleshooter and a devoted leader of the BJP, who was a very close associate and friend of Narendra Modi.
MAMATA WARNS KASHMIR TEMPLATE MAYBE REPEATED IN BENGAL
After remaining silent for the last two month on the advice of political strategist Prashant Kishor, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee once again attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP high command over the question of Kashmir on the foundation day of Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad. Banerjee said that the BJP was suppressing the voice of Kashmiris and went on to say that just like in Kashmir, the BJP will try eroding federalism in West Bengal. She further said that now the BJP is trying to bring in the presidential form of government with one election, one leader, one political party and one emergency in place of the parliamentary form of government. The BJP is threatening opposition leaders or pressuring them to topple the present government in West Bengal. Meanwhile, the former Trinamool Congress leader and Kolkata ex-Mayor Sovan Chatterjee and his associate Baisakhi Banerjee, who had joined BJP earlier this month, have expressed their desire to quit the BJP. Chatterjee and Banerjee met the BJP General Secretary in-charge of West Bengal Kailash Vijayvargiya on Thursday evening to express their desire to leave the BJP and go back to TMC.
GEHLOT UPSTAGES MAYAWATI AT CABINET GAMES
After the decision in the matter of the Pehlu Khan lynching case, in which a local court in Rajasthan acquitted all the accused, BSP supremo Mayawati blamed the state Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his government. After that it was believed that the BSP will pull out support from the government but three of the six BSP MLAs have supported the Ashok Gehlot government openly. It seems that the BSP MLAs are trying to be included in the cabinet and neglecting the party supremo. At present, the Ashok Gehlot government is supported by the six BSP MLAs and 13 independent MLAs, and they want to be included in the cabinet. However, Ashok Gehlot cannot expand the ministry beyond 30 berths and many Congress’ longtime MLAs also want a share in the Cabinet. It seems Gehlot is not expanding the Cabinet and trying to run his government by other means.
BIHAR BJP’S SAMRAT CHOUDHURY WANTS RAJYA SABHA BERTH
There are three prominent backward parties in Bihar — one, is of Yadavs led by Lalu Prasad Yadav; the second is of Kurmis led by current CM Nitish Kumar; and the third is led by Kushwaha. At one time, it was Sakuni Choudhary who was the undisputed leader, but in his place, it’s Upendra Kushwaha at present, who calls the shots. Samrat Choudhary, son of Sakuni Choudhary, joined BJP two years back, and at present is the vice president of BJP in Bihar. He now wants to be a Rajya Sabha member, and before he was trying to become an MLC in Bihar. So far, the BJP has not taken him up on any important legislative post. Samrat is a political butterfly. Before joining the BJP, he was in RJD, JD(U) and HAM parties. Now he is a main backward face of BJP in Bihar, and if he is not sent to Rajya Sabha, he may leave the BJP altogether. It’s quite likely that other backward leaders will follow Choudhury’s suit in that case.
KUMARI SELJA IS NEW HARYANA CONGRESS CHIEF, HOODA GETS NEW POST
After the rally in Rohtak, former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has met Congress President Sonia Gandhi, along with AICC in-charge of Haryana, Ghulam Nabi Azad. The meeting came amid hectic efforts to put the Haryana Congress unity through a reshuffle ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls. Bhupinder Singh Hooda seems to be rigid on the issue of state presidentship, but there was no word from the party on the possibility of any leadership change in the state unit. Meanwhile, Ghulam Nabi Azad met senior Congress leaders of Haryana, including Rajya Sabha MP and former Union Minister Kumari Selja. Although some senior party leaders are against Hooda’s demand for changing the party helm, even calling Hooda out on his attempts to arm-twist the high command, they also acknowledge the fact Ashok Tanwar has already completed his five years as Haryana Congress chief. It’s evident that the high command too wanted a change of state leadership before the Assembly polls. In a smart move, the Congress on Wednesday sought to end the issue of leadership tussle for the upcoming Assembly polls in Haryana by naming former Union Minister Kumari Selja as the party’s state unit chief replacing Ashok Tanwar. Hooda was appointed the leader of Congress’ legislature party and the chief of election management committee, thereby soothing his flared nerves somewhat. (IPA)