By Rahil Nora Chopra
After becoming the interim president, Sonia Gandhi is giving more time to the workers and party leaders to prepare for the coming assembly elections. In addition, she is trying to bring her house(Congress) in order. For this, she called a North East Congress Coordination Committee and decided that NECCC would now have a permanent headquarter in Guwahati. She directed the Congress leaders from the region to meet once in every three months to take up regional issues. The Congress leaders from the NE states have decided to continue the party’s opposition to the highly controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill. At the same time, Sonia Gandhi also met the Chief Ministers and party presidents of Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Pondicherry. She told them that the manifesto promises should be fulfilled at any cost and there should be complete unity between the government and party leaders completely. She insisted that the party workers should not be ignored. In the same vein, Sonia Gandhi has formed a six-member screening committee for the Haryana Assembly elections, with senior party leader Madhusadan Mistry as its chairman. Other members of the panel appointed are Haryana Congress chief KumariSelja, Congress legislative party leader and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and AICC general secretary state in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad. Congress Leaders Deepa Dasmunsi and Devender Yadav have also been made members of the panel.
CONGRESS’ SURJEWALA BUSY WITH TOURING KAITHAL SEAT IN HARYANA
Nowadays, a man missing from action at the daily Congress media briefing is the Congress communications in-charge —Randeep Singh Surjewala. The reason behind this is that he is busy touring his constituency Kaithal, in the run-up to the Haryana assembly elections, dates for which are expected to be announced soon. Surjewala is working hard and does not want to take any chance this time. The suave Congress leader wants to ensure his win from Kaithal as he lost in the by-election from Jind assembly constituency in January this year.
AKHIELSH, YADAV FAMILY STAND FIRMLY BEHIND AZAM KHAN
With so many cases lodged against Azam Khan and his family and notices sent from the estate department of Uttar Pradesh for them to vacate the government bungalow where Lohia Trust Office was being run by Samajwadi Party, the whole Akhilesh Yadav family seems united behind Khan, with the internal feuds now banished to oblivion. Mulayam Singh Yadav has vacated the Lohia Trust Office after paying the pending rent of Rs 30 lakh. While Mulayam Singh Yadav is the president of the trust, his brother Shivpal Yadav, the founder of Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party, is the secretary. Mulayam’s son, the Samajwadi Party president, Akhilesh Yadav, is a member of the Lohia Trust. On these issues, Akhilesh Yadav told the media that the Lohia Trust belongs to Netaji (Mulayam) and he has no information on why the government is vacating the building of the Trust’s office. Importantly, Akhilesh added that if his party is voted back to power, all cases against Rampur MP Azam Khan would be dropped and that he would meet the Governor Anandiben Patel regarding false cases against Azam Khan. According to political pandits of Lucknow, it is Amar Singh who has divided the family and is now working against Azam Khan.
WEST BENGAL POLITICS SIZZLES ON DURGA PUJA HEAT
The political agenda has now transmuted into a tug-of-war between TMC and BJP over Durga Puja in West Bengal.Durga Puja is the main festival of Bengalis, and is increasingly being pushed political centre-stage, thanks to BJP’s Hindu majoritarianism. This time the BJP state president Dilip Ghosh is expected to inaugurate several puja pandals, with the BJP having announced many awards for puja committees. The BJP high command will visit Kolkata to inaugurate puja pandal in Mamata Banerjee’s Kalighat neighbourhood. Sometime back, the income tax department had given notices to puja committees of Kolkata, a move that the TMC opposed vehemently. Later, the income tax department clarified that these notices were old. Meanwhile, TMC has full control of these Durga Puja committees, with most of the committees headed by TMC leaders and workers. The Mamata Banerjee government has even announced financial support to the puja committees in the state, which has helped TMC to strategically take the advantage of the puja committees in their favour. Seeing this, the BJP has also instructed its MPs and ministers to participate in Durga Puja celebrations along with the party workers in full strength. The buzz is that Durga Puja has become a burning issue for the 2021 Assembly polls.
PATNA POSTERS ALLURE CM NITISH TO RETHINK 2015 BIHAR ALLIANCE
Posters are being seen on the main square of Patna with the slogan — “Kyu Na Kare Vichar, Bihar Jo Hai Bimar”. Although there is no election in Bihar at present, a warning or sort is being communicated through these posters. After demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the BJP workers are now raising the war cry that Sushil Kumar Modi should take over as the Chief Minister and that Nitish Babu should go to the Centre. Seeing this, JD(U) leaders are worried that BJP can behave like it did in Maharashtra, where they had made their own chief minister in place of Shiv Sena, despite Sena being the alliance partner with more seats. JD(U) has not fully supported the BJP on the issues of Triple Talaq and Article 370, and JD(U) is also not the part of the Union Cabinet. Meanwhile, BJP leader CP Thakur has openly denied the next term of chief ministership to JD(U). On the other hand, the RJD leader Shivanand Tiwari has suggested that Nitish Kumar should give the alliance of 2015, where the Samajwadis and secular forces were united against the BJP, and that RJD would accept Nitish Kumar’s leadership if he does so. According to political pandits of Patna, the posters clearly show that Nitish is doing good work and may join hands with secular and socialist forces once again. However, Nitish himself is mum on this issue. (IPA)