By Rahil Nora Chopra
After the sweep in Lok Sabha elections, the Haryana unit of BJP, the ruling party in the state, is confident of its prospect in the assembly polls scheduled on October 21. The BJP formed the government independently for the first time in Haryana in 2014 riding on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In Lok Sabha elections, BJP has won all the 10 seats in the state. The main opposition party in Haryana is the Congress, which took a late decision for uniting the party by appointing Rajya Sabha member Kumari Selja (a dalit leader who replaced another dalit leader Ashok Tanwar) as a state party chief) and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda (a Jat leader) now made Congress legislature party leader and chairman of the poll management committee. The party plan seems to be concentrating on Dalit and Jat voters, which makes 46 per cent of the total votes of Haryana. The appointment of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, hailing from the Punjabi community, broke the 18-year-old hegemony of Jat chief ministers. Before Khattar the last non Jat chief minister is Bhajan Lal. In Haryana there is clear cut division between Jats and non Jats after 2016 where Jat quota stir in which the arson and violence during agitation harm the non Jat in Rohtak, Sonipat, Jhajjar, Jhind and Bhiwani. This will be the crucial factor in the coming assembly election. One of the flag-bearer of Jat votes is Om Prakash Chautala’s Indian National Lok Dal, which had earlier divided the Jat vote; but this time INLD has been reduced to a marginal entity following the split in the Chautala family. The formation of splinter outfit JJP has reduced the vote bank of INLD. Another factor is that the opposition in Haryana has been unable to forge a unity among parties against the ruling BJP.
ALLIANCE DALLIANCE ON FOR MAHARASHTRA ASSEMBLY POLLS
The Maharashtra assembly polls, set for October 21, is seeing all the political action. The main electoral battle is likely to take place between the two rival alliances— BJP-Shiv Sena and Congress-NCP — unlike in 2014, when all the parties contested separately. BJP-Shiv Sena are currently locked in furious seat-sharing talks, while the Congress-NCP will contest 125 seats each, in the 288-member house of assembly, and offer 38 seats to other alliance partners. BJP won the last assembly election after 30 years with a huge margin. The saffron coalitions have set the target of 220 out of 288 assembly seats in the coming polls up from 185 seats in 2014. This time the important issue is that the opposition is demoralized because 18 sitting MLAs have quit their party and joined either the BJP or Shiv Sena. In past 5 months, one sitting MP, 3 former MPs and several former ministers have joined the BJP or Shiv Sena. The BJP is banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity and the scrapping of Article 370 to galvanise saffron votes, while the opposition will raise the issue of economy in which growth has slumped to over 6-year low, 45-year-high unemployment and the recent floods in western Maharashtra.
BY TAKING AWAY 6 MLAs, GEHLOT OUTSMARTS MAYAWATI IN RAJASTHAN
Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot has taken all the six BSP MLAs into Congress fold to give the stability to his government, much in the same way he had taken the BSP MLAs in 2008. After this BSP Chief Mayawati has blamed the Congress party for poaching their MLAs. According to political sources, Mayawati wanted some sort of alliance with BJP in Rajasthan, but before that plan could fructify, Ashok Gehlot took away her MLAs. It was such a secret that even Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot had no information of this plan. Gehlot took Assembly speaker CP Joshi into confidence and even the Congress high command got to know of it onlya few hours before the joining. With the six BSP MLAs joining the Congress, there are chances that some of them will now be accommodated in the cabinet.
BENGALI KURTA APART, WHY DID DIDI MEET MODI?
After a long stint of mutual bitterness between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, now the ice is broken. Banerjee reached Delhi and met Prime Minister Modi and presented him a Bengali kurta, with Bengali sweets. It was noticed that Mamata Banerjee had not attended the Prime Minister’s oath ceremony in May 2019 for the second term even after she got the invitation. The relationship had reached the lowest point ever during the Lok Sabha election. Now, not only she has met the PM, but also invited him on the opening ceremony of a coal mine in West Bengal. Explaining the purpose of this visit, Banerjee claimed that she met the PM for discussing development projects in West Bengal. However, the BJP general secretary In-charge of West Bengal, Kailash Vijayvargiya, claimed that she came to meet PM to ask for protection of former Commission Police of Kolkata, Rajeev Kumar, from the clutches of CBI, as on arrest he may disclose the names of TMC leaders who are involved in Saradha chit fund scam. After this meeting, the workers and leaders of BJP in West Bengal are very worried about the future relationship between BJP and TMC in the state. Moreover, the Left Front and Congress leaders are also claiming that the Bengal CM met the PM for seeking relief from Saradha chit fund scam, which is being investigated by CBI.
UTTARAKHAND CM WANTS CBI INQUIRY INTO NATIONAL HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION
Nowadays, the chief minister of Uttarakhand, Trivendra Singh Rawat, seems to fight only against the former chief minister Harish Rawat. Trivendra Singh Rawat has a background of RSS and was an organising secretary of the outfit. He has started fighting with the so-called “corrupt officers” after taking over the office of Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. He has announced a CBI inquiry of the national highway construction, which was completed at the time of Harish Rawat as Chief Minister. However, central minister Nitin Gadkari has stopped the CBI inquiry. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat still wants a complete CBI inquiry into the matter. The Chief Minister has recently visited Jai Ram ashram, which belongs to Brahm Swaroop Brahmachari, who is a Congress leader, who is against Harish Rawat. It is now rumoured that Brahm Swaroop Brahmachari may join the BJP after the visit of chief minister. Jai Ram ashram is popular among sadhus and saints and political observer are claiming that Brahmachari has supported the BJP MLA and now the minister in the state cabinet Madan Kaushik and he may give many important tips regarding the construction of national highway. (IPA)