By Rahil Nora Chopra
As a result of the historic win by the BJP in the recently concluded Gujarat assembly polls, the demand for change of leadership in the Madhya Pradesh unit of the party has gained ground. BJP leaders in the state are claiming that the party could lose Madhya Pradesh due to raging anti-incumbency against the fourth-term government of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The hankering for change, however, has put the BJP’s central leadership in a bind amid apprehensions that a Gujarat-style operation could be counter-productive in states like MP, with reasonably influential regional faces. While BJP leaders in Delhi commented that they were aware of unrest and aggression against the incumbent government in Madhya Pradesh, the top leadership was unsure whether dropping CM Chouhan would resolve the problem. Thus, in absence of any feasible replacement option, Chouhan continues to be the CM. Although, the RSS rank and file as well as on-ground BJP workers are sure that Chouhan would be shown the way out in a sudden motion like Sushil Modi.
J P NADDA TO GET EXTENSION AS BJP CHIEF AFTER HIS TERM ENDS IN JAN 2023
J P Nadda, the BJP national president, whose three-year term would come to an end on January 20, 2023, is not very apprehensive. According to BJP sources, the party’s national executive would be soon called, perhaps as early as the January 2023, possibly in New Delhi, and Nadda is expected to receive an extension as the party chief. Sources say that the extension may follow until the end of the Lok Sabha elections in 2024, and during the upcoming state Assembly polls, the party would undertake a review of the ongoing organisational exercise. According to the constitution of the BJP, the party president can get two consecutive terms of three years each. Similarly, there is a provision that after the organisation elections are held in at least fifty per cent of the state units, the process of election of the national president can be initiated. Meanwhile, after the Lok Sabha polls in April-May 2024 get done, the process of internal polls within the BJP will likely commence. Nadda, who has cordial ties with the RSS leadership and enjoys PM Modi’s confidence, is not worried. The BJP national president has kept the party morale high with consecutive election wins, particularly in Gujarat, and also has maintained the organisational momentum and dynamism that the BJP was injected with under his powerful predecessor, the current Union home minister, Amit Shah.
SHIVPAL KEY TO AKHILESH’S PLANS FOR SAMAJWADI PARTY REVIVAL IN UP
Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohiya) chief Shivpal Yadav is famous for his great organisational skills and capacity to mobilise party workers. Provided an opportunity, he will play an utmost important role in the party for the 2024 polls. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav is likely to go ahead in delegating responsibility of eastern Uttar Pradesh to Shivpal Yadav, and also to take the charge of the organization, in terms of looking after and talking to the smaller parties in Uttar Pradesh for possible pre-poll alliances. Shivpal has recently paid a visit to Pratapgarh and Prayagraj and has said he would visit every district of Uttar Pradesh to strengthen the party cadre. While SP has lost three allies in UP after the 2022 Assembly polls — the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), Mahaan Dal and Janwadi Party — but the SP has, more or less, made up for the losses by getting in Shivpal Yadav back into the party fold. However, the biggest challenge that Akhilesh faces is that the BJP has an extremely well-oiled organisational machinery and SP is no match for it yet.
IN BIHAR, NITISH TO MARCH FOR PROHIBITION, CONGRESS FOR BHARAT YATRA
Both Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as well as the State unit of the Congress party are scheduled to embark on separate yatras across the state from January 5, 2023.The Congress will conduct its highly successful Bharat Jodo Yatra leg from Bihar’s Banka district to Bodh Gaya, and carry out Yatra in places such as Bhagalpur, Khagaria, Begusarai, Darbhanga, and Patna, aiming for expansion of its reach and influence. It will be led by the party president Mallikarjun Kharge. On the other hand, Nitish Kumar will commence a nearly month-long march from West Champaran district, the land closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi’s first major Satyagraha against British rule. This Yatra by Kumar is influential as it is seen as his new attempt to seek active support of the people to implement the liquor prohibition on the ground.
ABDULLAHS, MUFTI AWAIT KASHMIR LEG OF RAHUL’S BHARAT JODO YATRA
As the countdown starts for Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra to enter Jammu and Kashmir in the second half of January 2023, the Valley’s mainstream but marginalized politicians, such as the National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, the PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti and the CPIM’s MY Tarigami, have given enthusiastic consent for their participation in the Yatra. Congress general secretary in-charge KC Venugopal has termed the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra as a national unification drive and said that the party would hoist the national flag in Kashmir.
BHARAT JODO YATRA TO ENTER UP ON JAN 3; AKHILESH, MAYAWATI INVITED
The invitation has been extended by the Congress party to several leaders, including Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, BSP supremo Mayawati, RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary and Om Prakash Rajbhar to join the Uttar Pradesh leg of its pan-India Bharat Jodo Yatra. Political observers say the Congress’s attempt to unite the non-BJP parties through the Yatra ahead of the General elections in 2024, is gathering steam. Former Union minister Salman Khurshid has linked the Bharat Jodo Yatra to the epic Ramayana and has even compared Rahul Gandhi with Lord Ram and the Congress to Bharat. The Yatra is likely to enter UP from Loni border of Ghaziabad on January 3, and will cover three districts — Ghaziabad, Baghpat and Shamli— before re-entering Haryana. Rahul Gandhi would lead the Yatra in Baghpat on January 4 and Shamli on January 5, when, in the evening, he would leave UP through Kairana in Shamli district to enter Sonipat in Haryana. Rahul Gandhi would cover a total of 100 km in UP during the Yatra. (IPA Service)