By Rahil Nora Chopra
With BJP having recently lost the Sardarshahar assembly by-election in Rajasthan, a slogan has been creating fresh buzz, gaining popularity in Rajasthan:“Kaho dil se, Vasundhara phir se!” [Say from the heart, Vasundhara once again!]. While Raje has been involved in a tussle for power with state BJP president Satish Poonia, but despite her stature as a mass leader, the BJP high command reportedly wants to persuade Raje not to contest the assembly elections next year. However, to compensate her for her sacrifice, the party may allow her to stand for the Lok Sabha elections and be allocated ministership in the 2024 government. On the other hand, former CM Vasundhara Raje is bracing for a fight to project herself as a potential CM face for the BJP, whether or not the party’s top leadership is content with it, or not.
NITISH KUMAR REASSERTS NEED FOR GREATER OPPOSITION UNITY
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is making a fresh bid to firm up Opposition unity at the national level around the ongoing demand for a nationwide caste census. The aim is to provide a strong counter to the BJP’s aggressive Hindutva politics. However, Nitish cautioned the non-NDA parties that they would be decimated in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, if they do not come together against the BJP. The Bihar CM had once again broken off from the NDA to form a new Grand Alliance government in August this year, risking it all for efforts to create broad-based Opposition unity across the country in order to take on the BJP in the next general elections. The National Council of Bihar’s Janata Dal (United) has given the authority to Nitish Kumar to resume talks of unity with all opposition parties against the BJP. Nitish took up the responsibility at the event and asserted that the general atmosphere in the country was against the BJP and that it’s heading for a big setback in 2024.
KHARGE’S HIMACHAL CAMPAIGN HELPED IN CONGRESS’ POLL VICTORY
Congress victory in the assembly election in Himachal Pradesh is supplemented by Lokniti-CSDS post-poll survey, which shows that 53 per cent of Dalit voters favoured Congress in Himachal Pradesh, as against 34 per cent from the same group voting for the BJP. AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge had campaigned for Congress candidates in Himachal Pradesh for the November 12 polls. Kharge was seen campaigning soon after taking over the charge of the party as late as on October 26.The crucial Himachal victory demonstrates that Congress was keenly focussed on winning back its lost link with the Dalit community. Nobody can be better suited for this than the new Congress chief. Next year’s Assembly polls in Kharge’s home state Karnataka, besides Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, will test his appeal among Dalit and other voters. So will be the case during the 2024 general elections.
WITH EYE ON WRESTING MEGHALAYA, MAMATA LAUNCHES TMC CAMPAIGN
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee launched the TMC’s state Assembly election campaign in Meghalaya. For a two-day trip to the northeastern state, Banerjee reached Umroi Airport, where she was welcomed by hundreds of people, supporters and admirers from across the state. TMC became the main Opposition party in the 60-member Assembly in November 2021 after former Congress chief minister Mukul Sangma switched to Mamata’s camp, along with 11 MLAs. Meanwhile, the NPP-BJP alliance has already created a narrative that TMC is an entity from outside, which may go against the party in a state where regional aspiration has strong roots. As assembly elections in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura are expected to be held in February 2023, political parties and the Election Commission have started their activities and monitoring in the three northeastern states.
KARNATAKA TO SEE HIGH-VOLTAGE CAMPAIGNS FROM YOGI, GANDHIS, KHARGE
Karnataka assembly elections are expected to witness high-voltage rallies, with the BJP all geared up to get Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to address the crowds in Mangaluru and the Vokkaliga-dominated Old Mysuru. The reasons being that Yogi belongs to the Nath Pantha tradition that is followed by Adichunchanagiri Mutt, an influential Vokkaliga mutt. The Adichunchanagiri Mutt is said to have connections with the Gorakhnath Mutt in Gorakhpur. Adityanath is the head priest at the Gorakhnath temple. Both mutts follow the Nath Pantha, a sub-tradition of Shaivism. On the other hand, the Congress is aiming at AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi and AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge to lead the rallies. (IPA Service)