By Rahil Nora Chopra
Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad has been demanding reforms within the party and reiterating their calls for change. However, the G-23 leaders’ hope that the former Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha would get the Rajya Sabha berth from Tamil Nadu, has been dashed. Azad had been told that he could get the chance only when the Upper House berths of Jammu and Kashmir come up for vote again. According to Congress sources, the party leadership perhaps wants the seat to be given to senior leader P Chidambaram, who would retire in July next year. Chidambaram is currently a member from Maharashtra. But the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) having announced its candidates for both seats from Tamil Nadu in the Rajya Sabha by-election, effectively scrapped any chance for partner Congress to bag a seat. Dr. Kanimozhi NVN Somu, the medical wing secretary and a practising gynaecologist, as well as the DMK’s East district secretary KRN Rajesh Kumar Namakkal will contest in the Rajya Sabha by-polls to be held on October 4. The Congress, a coalition partner of the DMK, was lobbying for one seat to accommodate one of its key leaders. Sources in the Congress said the DMK had agreed to consider the party’s request for a Rajya Sabha seat while finalising the seat-sharing deal for the Assembly elections earlier this year. They said the DMK assurance had come after the Congress agreed to settle for 25 Assembly seats. The DMK-led alliance, also comprising Congress and Left parties, in the state has 159 MLAs in the 234-member legislative assembly. The ruling party is likely to win the two seats, which will increase its strength in the Upper House to 10 out of the total 18 seats the state elects and will effectively make the party the fourth largest in the Rajya Sabha.
WITH KANHAIYA ALMOST SET TO JOIN CONGRESS, ALLIES WATCH OUT
CPI leader and former JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar has met Rahul Gandhi, apparently to prepare the ground for his entry into the Congress. He is believed to be holding negotiations with the Congress party to thrash out issues before making an entry. Kumar is considered to be a crowd-puller, especially among the youth. But the Congress needs to consider how this will be viewed by its ally, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). According to Congress sources, the party believes that the entry of Kumar will give it a popularity and boost in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The Congress had been in political wilderness in Bihar for the past three decades. Even in last year’s Assembly elections, it performed badly when compared to allies RJD and CPI(ML). The Congress could win only 19 of the 70 seats it contested. While the RJD won more than half of the 144 seats it contested, the CPI(ML) won 12 of the 19 seats where it fielded candidates. If Kumar, who is known as a fine orator, joins the Congress, the party could also use him for campaigning in the assembly elections of Uttar Pradesh in 2022. Meanwhile, Congress is yet to take a final call on the induction of poll strategist Prashant Kishor into the party,
BIHAR BJP MINISTERS ANNOY HIGH COMMAND, AWAIT DECISION
Rumours abound that the top leadership of the BJP is discontented with the performance and conduct of several BJP ministers of Bihar and considering to major changes. The BJP ministers in Bihar are moving to Delhi one after another to meet the PM and Union home minister, Amit Shah. Many are even trying to meet the party president JP Nadda. The leaders are now eagerly waiting for the axe to fall.
CONGRESS PLANS NATIONWIDE AGITATION, IYC WANTS RAHUL TO LEAD
The Congress would emphasize on inflation, price rise and unemployment in the first phase of sustained agitations on national issues, it was decided as the party’s nine-member committee on the campaigns met earlier this week. The panel, headed by Rajya Sabha member and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Digvijaya Singh, includes general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Uttam Kumar Reddy, B.K. Hariprasad, Udit Raj, Ripun Bora, Manish Chathrath, Ragini Nayak and Zubair Khan. At the meeting, AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra rendered and suggested that the party should try and ensure that the message of the agitation reaches people. Priyanka Gandhi also emphasized that the meetings should be followed up with agitational and campaign programmes. Meanwhile, after Indian Youth Congress’s national executive meeting unanimously passed a resolution to make Rahul Gandhi as party president again. Udit Raj suggested that Rahul Gandhi should take over as the Congress president during the meeting session and receive the major support by the party leaders.
BJP KARNATAKA LEADERS UPSET OVER CM BOMMAI BEING FACE OF 2023 POLLS
The infighting within BJP Karnataka is on peak after Home minister Amit Shah’s assurance that the Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai would lead the party in the 2023 state assembly elections. According to BJP internal sources, senior leaders like Jagdish Shettar and ES Eshwarappa are annoyed. Most of the BJP state leaders want old-time loyalists to be considered for the CM’s job. Some legislators wrote to the party high-command about their issues remaining unaddressed despite the BJP being in power in Karnataka. Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has set aside one day in the week to listen to the issues of BJP legislators in the state and the chief minister will meet BJP legislators every week on Thursdays. (IPA Service)