By Rahil Nora Chopra
In Maharashtra, the Assembly election result reflects the BJP falling short of the halfway-mark on its own, with Uddhav Thackeray, the chief of its ally Shiv Sena, saying it was time to implement a fifty-fifty formula for power sharing as decided on earlier. The BJP and Shiv Sena succeeded in achieving a comfortable majority in the 288 member Maharashtra Assembly. Describing the mandate as an eye-opener for many, Thackeray said the people of the state had kept democracy alive. 10 independent MLAs, most of them BJP and Shiv Sena rebels, have contacted the NDA to support the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance. Results show that Shiv Sena will be the deciding factor in the formation of the government.
DUSHYANT CHAUTALA’S JJP TO PLAY KEY ROLE IN HARYANA
The Congress has put up a resurgent performance, winning 31 seats in the 90-member Haryana Legislative Assembly. BJP has won 40 seats, but all its state ministers have lost, barring two — Anil Vij and state party chief Subhash Barala. Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), led by Dushyant Chautala, has emerged as the potential kingmaker with 10 seats. The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Haryana Lokhit Party won one seat each. Independent candidates also won seven seats. Hectic political activity is ongoing as Gopal Kanda of the Haryana Lokhit Party and one independent MLA from the Rania constituency boarded a chartered flight to Delhi on Thursday for a meeting with BJP President Amit Shah. Meanwhile, CM Manohar Lal Khattar will meet the Haryana governor Satyadev Narayan Arya to stake claim to form government in the state. JJP will decide who will make the government — Congress or the BJP.
WITH AMBIKA SONI, CONGRESS SEES RETURN OF THE OLD GUARD
Return of old guard seems to be the flavour of the season within the Congress party. Away from limelight for some time, Ambika Soni is back in action. Soni was once party’s president Sonia Gandhi’s eyes and ears in the Congress. She was also the AICC general secretary attached to Sonia’s office. Of late, however, Soni had taken a backseat despite being an AICC general secretary in-charge of Jammu and Kashmir. She has now been made a member of a panel set up by Sonia to deliberate and formulate Congress’s positions on key issues.
MEET SHAH’S BOYS WHO GET THE BIG JOBS DONE FOR BJP
Union home minister Amit Shah’s importance cannot be overstated in Modi 2.0 regime. But who all are the Man Fridays of Shah? It is, of course, what is being referred to in the power corridors as “Shah’s boys”, or his own two-tier crack team. The first tier is the inner circle, and the core band of men privy to the biggest of shock decisions, such as the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. The core team comprises Bhupendra Yadav, JP Nadda and BL Santosh, and it is said that absolutely no one else had any information on what was to happen on August 5. The outer circle, or the second tier, are the delivery boys out to shore up support and numbers in the House. Comprising Dharmendra Pradhan, Anil Jain and V Murleedharan, the second tier got Shah the calibrated numbers in Rajya Sabha. Shah’s boys are the logistics men on any and every issue that the BJP is steamrolling through Parliament, or elsewhere.
BHUPINDER SINGH HOODA KEEPS HIS DISTANCE FROM RAHUL GANDHI
Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had not attended Rahul Gandhi’s rally in Nuh on 14 October. He was busy campaigning elsewhere in the state. But he was scheduled to attend Sonia Gandhi’s rally in Mahendragarh on 18 October. He was to fly there from Sonipat to address the rally along with Sonia. Then came the twist in the tale. Sonia decided not to go. As soon as it became clear that Rahul would address the rally, Hooda changed his plan and did not go to Mahendragarh, reviving speculation that all is not well between Rahul and Hooda. (IPA)