By Rahil Nora Chopra
Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray has recalled the promise he had made to his late father, Bal Thackeray, to install a Shiv Sainik Chief Minister of Maharashtra, even as the BJP is projecting the present Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as the next CM. The Shiv Sena is projecting Uddhav’s son Aditya Thackeray as a chief ministerial candidate in the event of NDA returning to power after the assembly election on 21st of this month. The BJP is now in seat-sharing talks with its partner Shiv Sena. Devendra Fadnavis became the first BJP Chief Minister of Maharashtra in 2014, as BJP emerged as the single largest party in the house. The BJP won 122 seats while Shiv Sena won 63 seats. BJP and Shiv Sena have ruled Maharashtra in 1995 to 1999 and joined hands by forming a post-poll alliance in 2014. In the April-May parliamentary polls, BJP won 23 out of 25 seats it contested, while Shiv Sena won 18 out of 23 seats it fought. The BJP is asking the Shiv Sena to leave 165 seats for BJP and a formal announcement on seat-sharing is expected soon. Meanwhile, according to BJP leaders, it is natural that there will be some heartburn among BJP candidates who’d lose their seat to Shiv Sena, but Shiv Sena leaders have started talking about projecting their own leader as a Chief Ministerial candidate.
SAMAJWADI PARTY UNITES UNDER ONE ROOF AGAIN
It’s good news for Samajwadi Party workers in Uttar Pradesh because all the factions of SP are going to unite soon and the difference between Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav will be ended promptly. It started two and half years before the last assembly election in 2017,which resulted in the division of the party on the eve of the assembly election. Shivpal Yadav has formed his own party — the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia). After the parliamentary elections, Mayawati broke the alliance with SP, and since then many MLCs and Rajya Sabha MPs have left Akhilesh Yadav’s party and joined the BJP. Akhilesh Yadav is finding it difficult in holding on to his MLAs and MLCs, as BJP wants a majority in the UP Vidhan Parishad. But after the BJP government filed several cases against Azam Khan, Mulayam Singh Yadav, despite his ill-health has come out openly in support of his old colleague. Subsequently, Akhilesh Yadav too has rushed to Rampur in support of Azam Khan. Akhilesh has now come out openly against the UP government, led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, especially on the issue of the rape-accused Swami Chinmayanand. Now, the entire Akhilesh family and other SP leaders and workers are united in fighting against the BJP government of UP, as well as the central government, coming out on the streets to lodge their protest publicly. They hope to unite the Yadav and Muslim votes of UP under the banner of Samajwadi Party.
END OF THE ROAD FOR VASUNDHARA RAJE SCINDIA?
After remaining the chief minister of Rajasthan for 10 years, Vasundhra Raje Scindia has lost her grip on Rajasthan BJP. The last hope of survival has ended with the appointment of Satish Punia as a state party chief of Rajasthan by the BJP high command. Before this, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat was included in central cabinet; Om Birla was made the Lok Sabha Speaker and after much effort, Raje’s son was not included in the Union cabinet. She was shocked after the assembly election when she herself or her nominee was not made the Leader of Opposition in the Rajasthan assembly and in her place, Gulab Chand Kataria was made the Leader of Opposition. Raje’s plight shows how times have changed. In fact, in 2014, when Narendra Modi was taking the oath of Prime Ministership, Vasundhra Raje Scindia had gone out of the country despite knowing the dates of oath-taking ceremony. It’s a stark contrast now when she is virtually alone in Rajasthan, even though she has been given the ceremonial post of the BJP national vice president
KAMAL NATH APPEASES SIKHS IN MP AS 1984 LOOMS LARGE
When Kamal Nath was made the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, the Congress high command was under the impression that through his leadership, the party would win several Lok Sabha seats in the state. However, the Congress won only one seat – Chhindhwara, from where Kamal Nath’s son has won. On the other hand, Kamal Nath has been facing so many problems from outside and inside of the party, where many groups within his party are working against him,even as the BJP is on the roads against the Kamal Nath government. The external forces beyond Madhya Pradesh, especially the Sikh leaders of Delhi, want to include Kamal Nath’s name in the 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases. Kamal Nath has started pleasing the Sikh community in Madhya Pradesh and has called on the Sikh leaders and office-bearers of Gurudwara committees of different cities in Madhya Pradesh to discuss many welfare programmes for the Gurudwaras. Kamal Nath has declared that the government would protect important Gurudwaras of Madhya Pradesh as religious tourist spots and would make 550th year of the Prakash Purab Yatra for Guru Nanak Dev as a memorable event. The Congress government in MP has also said it would soon build a Guru Nanak Dev Gate in Indore.
HAS NITIN GADKARI FALLEN OFF MODI-SHAH’S GOOD BOOKS?
It seems that the stars of Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari are not favouring him nowadays, as they did during the first term of Modi Government. It was noticeable after the implementation of the Motor Vehicle Act 2019, by introducing steep fines for traffic violations. It were the BJP-ruled states, starting from Gujarat, which decided to whittle down the Act, lowering the penalties for traffic offences. The message is clear: You are either totally with the powers that be or out in the cold. Recently, it seems that Nitin Gadkari was largely kept out of the Maharashtra assembly campaign. He was not present when Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis wound up his state-wide yatra in Nashik in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was also missing from Amit Shah’s rally in Mumbai. In Modi’s second tenure, Nitin Gadkari has not been included in any major cabinet committee on infrastructure, including the committee on disinvestment of Air India, of which he was a member in Narendra Modi’s first term in the government. (IPA)