By Rahil Nora Chopra
The Congress is going to initiate its campaign for Goa and Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls with senior leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra leading the same. After visiting Varanasi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, general secretary of the party in-charge of UP, will be addressing the rally in Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s home-turf, Gorakhpur, on October 31. UPCC president Ajay Kumar Lallu has sai d: “The rally will be a part of the ongoing Pratigya Yatra through which we are telling the people that Congress party is the only hope for them against faulty policies and myopic vision of the ruling BJP.” The party is hopeful of a huge gathering at the rally after Congress announced the promise of giving 40 percent of its tickets to women candidates, pledging smartphones and electric scooters to girls and free medical treatment of up-to Rs 10 lakh to all. Priyanka Gandhi will also hold a public meeting in Mathura on November 1 and will offer her prayers at Shri Krishna Janmasthan. On the other hand, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi will address party workers in Goa on October 30 and will launch the official campaign of the party. The Congress is all set for 2022 polls in the five states and has started early campaigns to galvanise the party cadre. It must be noted that Congress in Goa has witnessed some exodus of party leaders, as about 10 MLAs have crossed over to the BJP, and recently former CM Luizinho Falerio joined TMC, further shrinking the strength of the party in the state.
BIHAR BYPOLLS: LALU, CM NITISH TRADE BARBS, CHIRAG DEFENDS ALLY RJD
Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) president Chirag Paswan on 27 October criticized Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for his remark that RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav can get him shot and claimed that “poor” law and order situation in the state has created a fear and apprehension among the people. Earlier, Lalu Prasad Yadav had on 26 October commented that he would ensure “visarjan” (political annihilation) of Nitish Kumar in the October 30 by-elections in Bihar, following which the JD(U) leader agitated and responded that the former could get him shot, but not do anything else. In reply, Chirag Paswan said: “It’s ridiculous that the Bihar Chief Minister, who also holds the home portfolio, is making such statements. When the Chief Minister says this, the people of Bihar can understand well the law and order situation. The poor law and order situation has created fear psychosis among people.” He further stated that instead of making such pronouncements, the Chief Minister should take tangible actions to address Bihar’s increasing crime graph. All the parties have left no stone unturned in their attempts at winning the seats of Tarapur and Kushweshwar Asthan. But, it still remains an unclear picture as how the people will vote on October 30. The results will be announced on November 2.
SP, SBSP ALLIANCE SAYS ‘KHADEDA HOWE’ TO DRIVE OUT BJP FROM UP
Ahead of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the Samajwadi Party and the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party on 27 October announced their alliance for the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. Together, they gave the slogan ‘Khadeda Howe’, a call to drive out the BJP from the state. Speaking at a public meeting organised to mark the SBSP’s 19th Foundation Day in Mau district, Akhilesh Yadav said, “You (Rajbhar) said it right. What happened in Bengal, will happen here as well. Here, it will be Khadedha Howe (drive out) [borrowing the Trinamool Congress’s poll slogan in West Bengal, khelahobe]. I said in Lucknow that the door through which BJP came to power has been shut by Om Prakash Rajbharji. We have locked it together. What will happen to the BJP now?” Meanwhile, BJP, on the same day, received undying support of at least nine smaller parties with an electoral base amongst most backward castes and Dalit communities in Purvanchal region of UP. Of the nine political outfits, representatives of seven parties —Bharatiya Suheldev Janata Party, Shoshit Samaj Party, Bharatiya Manav Samaj Party, Musahar Andolan Manch, Manavhit Party, Prithvi Raj Janshakti Party and Bhartiya Samta Samaj Party — were present at the BJP office. The seven parties are part of a ‘Hisseydari Morcha’ formed by Ram Dhani Bind. Two other outfits —Apna Dal (Balihar) and Pragatisheel Samaj Party — also announced their support.
BOMMAI IN CM’S CHAIR, BUT YEDIYURAPPA STILL CALLS THE SHOTS
Basavaraj Bommai might be the current Chief Minister of Karnataka, but the manner in which the BJP has been depending on BS Yediyurappa to draw crowds at the campaigns for the assembly by-polls in both Hanagal and Sindgi, raises questions about whether the party has a capable alternative to the 78-year-old Lingayat leader. Yediyurappa is the fulcrum of the BJP’s campaign. Bommai only comes a distant second, which explains the persistent presence of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai in the bypoll-bound constituency for the past one week. Winning in Hangal, which lies in his home district, is seen as a prestige issue for the Chief Minister. The by-polls are scheduled to take place on 30 October. While Yediyurappa is in no mood to give up, his target is the 2023 state polls for which he is embarking on the statewide tour. It looks like the BJP has no clue on how to contain Yediyurappa in a state.
DENIED CONGRESS ENTRY, PRASHANT KISHOR SAYS BJP HERE TO STAY
Following the Congress’s denial to Prashant Kishor’s entry into the party, the poll strategist has controversially said that the Bharatiya Janata Party is not going anywhere and will remain in power for many decades. Pointing at Rahul Gandhi, Kishor said Gandhi still thinks that the BJP will be democratically overthrown by people, which he thinks is a red herring. Kishor said this in Goa on Wednesday and a clip of his Q&A session criticizing Gandhi has been shared widely on social media. The statement comes at a time when the Trinamool Congress is spreading its wings outside of Bengal, and is also proof that the talks of Kishor’s potential entry into the Congress have ended. At the same time, Prashant Kishor is trying that all opposition parties should come under Mamata Banerjee’s leadership to fight against the BJP. (IPA)