By Rahil Nora Chopra
Most of the senior Congress leaders feel that the failure to form a BSP alliance with Congress for the coming assembly elections will end up in favour of Congress. They feel that the upper caste votes, especially those of Brahmins, who were once close to Congress, will now come back to the party as they part ways with BJP after Vajpayee’s death. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah are OBC leaders and they are more close to Thakurs. Presently there are six Thakur chief ministers in BJP, in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Manipur. Although BSP has 6 percent vote share in Madhya Pradesh, the state Congress leadership believes that an alliance with BSP in Madhya Pradesh will mean loss of Brahmins votes, which had deserted Congress from the time of Vajpayee government and that they are now ready to come back into the Congress fold, which could also have a great impact on the coming Lok Sabha elections.
MP, RAJASTHAN AND CHHATTISGARH ARE KING-MAKER STATES
The importance of the results of the coming assembly election in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan for the future of both Congress and BJP is a given as these are expected to impact the fortunes of the two parties for the coming Lok Sabha elections. In these three states, the fight is basically between BJP and Congress, while regional players dominate the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar Jharkhand, Punjab and Haryana. The first round will decide the shape of alliances that can emerge in the second set of states. If Congress wins in the three states, the regional parties would certainly prefer to goo with it in the parliamentary elections. Similarly, the regional parties are very strong in the southern states where both BJP and Congress have no strong base. In West Bengal where TMC is in near total control, if Congress losses in the three states, Mamata Banerjee will probably make her own alliance to fight BJP in the Lok Sabha poll.
SUMMIT BOOSTS RAWAT IF NOT INVESTMENTS
It is too early to determine the success of the investment summit organised by the Uttarakhand government. By its very nature, the state has problems in attracting large scale investments as environment clearance for any big industry is a difficult proposition. But the just-concluded investment summit achieved big success in strengthening the hand of chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat. The event was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the closing ceremony presided over by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Both of them praised the chief minister and gave a clear indication to his detractors that the BJP central leadership has full faith in Rawat. In fact, former chief minister Narayan Dutt Tiwari had also tried his best to bring investors to the state but failed miserably. Irrespective of Rawat’s summit succeeding to change Tiwari’s poor record, it has helped end rumours spread by his opponents that the chief minister would be replaced before the Lok Sabha election
BJP TICKET WOES MOUNT IN RAJASTHAN
Ticket distribution for the assembly elections is becoming a big headache for BJP in Rajasthan. Charges of corruption against Vasundhra Raje Scindia’s government by party leaders Ghanshyam Tiwari and Narpat Singh Rajvi have made the issue more complicated. With Gujjars now out on the street demanding reservation, the problem has become even more serious. BJP workers claim that party president Amit Shah will distribute the tickets himself. Amit Shah is trying his level best to pacify the workers and leaders and asking them to work unitedly for the victory of the party and not worry about individuals. He is putting a lot of trust in party general secretary Murali Dhar Rao, who has an RSS background. (IPA)