By Rahil Nora Chopra
In Punjab Congress, the infighting is at the peak. Congress Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat amid the rift in the party’s state unit, had used the term ‘Panj Pyare’ for the state Congress president and four working presidents after a meeting at Punjab Congress Bhawan. Now on Wednesday, Harish Rawat apologised for referring to the party’s Punjab leadership as ‘Panj Pyare’ and said he would atone for his remark by sweeping the floor at a gurdwara. Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh met Harish Rawat and pressed for a rejig in his Cabinet. The CM handed over a proposed list for a cabinet reshuffle, but Rawat told the CM that such a reshuffle might not be possible at the moment as it would create more trouble for the Congress in the state. Meanwhile, rebel ministers, like Sukhjinder Randhawa, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Charanjeet Channi and Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, have refused to meet Harish Rawat. The Congress high command, which feels that Captain is still the best bait for the party in 2022 polls, has not taken kindly to this open rebellion and is in a mood to consider the demand for change. Party sources have indicated that the PPCC Chief Navjot Singh Sidhu had been hoping to get an appointment with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, but has so far failed to do so. Sources said that Sidhu had been planning to inform the party high command about the present state of party affairs and factionalism in the party. Instead of an appointment, Sidhu was given hasty advice. Congress sources said that the party leadership informed Sidhu that he should put up his grievances before Congress Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat.
NITISH, RAHUL TAKE MODI GOVERNMENT TO TASK ON FUEL PRICE HIKE
After Chief Minister Nitish Kumar demanded that the Centre should initiate a caste-based census and raised the issue of Pegasus snooping controversy, asking for the setting-up of an NDA coordination committee to resolve contentious issues among alliance partners, the JD(U) has now asked the BJP to roll back LPG prices and control market forces in determining prices of essential goods. JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi said that the repeated hike in the LPG price has affected people’s household budget adversely, and that the government should roll back the hike. Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacked the government over the rising fuel prices and said that an amount of Rs 23 lakh crore has been earned in the last seven years by increasing prices of these commodities. Gandhi also said that the according to the government, the new meaning of GDP was gas, diesel and petrol. And that a rise in GDP now meant a rise in the prices of these three commodities.
SKM TO LAUNCH MASSIVE ANTI-BJP CAMPAIGN IN POLL-BOUND STATES
Amid the ongoing farmers’ protests against Centre’s three farm laws, Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) is looking for new methods to mount pressure on the BJP government at the Centre. The best chance that they see is the upcoming state assembly elections in UP next year. The SKM leadership has the strongest clout in Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh and farmers organisations are all set to launch their ‘Mission UP’. The farmers would hold Mahapanchayat on 5 September in Western UP’s Muzaffarnagar. Rakesh Tikait said that the campaign would entail intensifying the stir and reaching out to farmers in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab, states which go to polls in March 2022. Tikait has made it clear that the SKM would move around UP and strongly criticise the BJP’s electoral politics and remind the farmers of the promises that were made to them by the BJP. He said they would rake issues such as non-payment of sugarcane dues.
AAP THROWS ITS HAT IN THE UTTAR PRADESH ELECTION RING
For the first time, Aam Aadmi Party is all set to fight the coming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections which will be held next year.AAP announced that it would field candidates for all 403 seats and would fight the election alone. Sanjay Singh, AAP’s Uttar Pradesh in-charge, has asked party workers to get involved in the preparations for the elections at the booth level in order to fight the imminent polls with full force. Singh said that AAP’s Tiranga Sankalp Yatra would be taken out in all 403 constituencies of the state in the coming days. Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also announced a slew of benefits like free electricity, water and health care for UP residents if voted to power. Sanjay Singh claimed that around one crore new members from Uttar Pradesh had joined the party in one month’s time.
KERALA CPI(M) WANTS TO REIN IN PINARAYI, WARNS OF DICTATORSHIP
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) Kerala state committee has finally asserted that it’s right to have more say in governing the Left-ruled state. While CM Pinarayi Vijayan had a free hand over matters in the first term, the second term has already raked up a slew of controversies. Pinarayi Vijayan’s absolute control in the party and the government is very much visible. For the same reason, the party’s central and state leadership wanted to ensure that this should not give room for dictatorship. The party also views that the ministers have already begun preliminary works in their respective ministries to implement the promises made in the election manifesto of the LDF. At a recent brainstorming session, the state committee even prepared a standard calculations on negotiating road bumps for the party-led Left Democratic Front lawmakers in a clear indication that things are not hunky dory just three months after the party was voted back to power. Many see it as an effort to prevent the Left Front going the same way it did in West Bengal and Tripura. (IPA)