By Rahil Nora Chopra
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, after filing his nomination for the election for the party presidential post, resigned as the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Rajya Sabha. He met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and submitted his resignation and in line with the party’s one-leader, one-post principal. P Chidambaram and Digvijaya Singh are in the race to succeed Kharge as the LoP. The buzz is that the post may go to Digvijaya Singh who belongs to Madhya Pradesh, where assembly elections are due next year and he may put great influence in northern India.
RJD POSTER USES MAHABHARAT METAPHOR TO DEPICT OPPOSITION UNITY
Ahead of by-poll in two seats, Mokama and Gopalganj, in Bihar, RJD workers have put up a poster outside the RJD office in Patna, as an idealized version of unity within the national opposition. Desperation to send Nitish Kumar to Delhi and get the Bihar CM chair vacated for Tejashwi Yadav is also visible among RJD cadres. In the poster, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad has been depicted as Brahma, while the leaders of the opposition have been displayed in the form of various deities. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar is shown as Arjun and his charioteer as Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav. Tejashwi has been given a message through the medium of the poster and as he is depicted as Krishna. The message in the poster reads: “Parth shot every arrow on the right target in the light of the lantern. Remember Mission 2024, Hastinapur (New Delhi) Maha Vijay. Do not panic, Parth. With you are the former Chakradhari and now the Lantern dhari.” CM Nitish Kumar has been shown sitting on the chariot. In the poster, Lalu Prasad, Sonia Gandhi, Telangana CM KCR, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, SP leader Akhilesh Singh Yadav, Sharad Pawar along with leaders of all opposition parties have been shown as united in spirit and purpose, prepared to win 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
DESPITE MODI CAMPAIGNS, CONGRESS HOPES TO TROUNCE BJP IN HIMACHAL
Will the BJP manage to replicate Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in Himachal Pradesh? Or will Congress emerge victorious and regain power making comeback, despite the absence of its old war horse, the late Virbhadra Singh? The BJP and Congress, since 1985, have been forming alternate governments in the state. This time, the BJP is doubly sure about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s magic exhibiting power once again in the hill state, despite anti-incumbency against CM Jairam Thakur. While PM Modi sounded the poll-bugle in Himachal Pradesh, saying that the BJP government not only lays foundation stones but also inaugurates development projects. Modi said development in the state has been possible because its people voted the BJP to power both at Centre and in the state. But the Congress is confident about the winning the assembly elections and is banking on the anti-incumbency factor and infighting in the BJP. The Congress also feels that its preceding victory in the Mandi Lok Sabha by-poll and three assembly constituencies in 2021 will help oust the BJP government from Himachal Pradesh.
CM SHINDE BAGS SUPPORT FROM UDDHAV’S ELDER BROTHER JAIDEV THACKERAY
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the state BJP aspire for the support of at least one Thackeray by their side. Jaidev Thackeray, the elder brother of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, shared the stage with Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde at the rebel faction’s Dussehra rally at the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai. Jaidev Thackeray’s estranged wife Smita was also marked her presence at the MMRDA ground in BKC. In his speech, Jaidev praised and said CM Eknath Shinde has always been his favourite and is helping poor, downtrodden and farmers in the state. There is an attempt by the Shinde camp to bring Jaidev Thackeray on board with a common objective of defeating Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, which is yet to recover from the defection of 40 legislators after the rebellion launched by Shinde. Both Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray have made claims about their faction being the real Shiv Sena. Shinde’s rebellion against Uddhav Thackeray’s leadership had led to the collapse to the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in June.
RSS GEN SECY HOSABALE BRINGS UP POVERTY, JOB CRISIS AT DUSSEHRA EVENT
After the RSS general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale raising voice and concern over inequality, unemployment and poverty, the Congress has credited it to the impact of the Bharat Jodo Yatra spearheaded by Rahul Gandhi. Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh said that the impact of the Yatra was visible on RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and general secretary Hosabale. However, Hosabale had put forth the blame on the bad economic policies of the earlier governments for the faults in the economy. Meanwhile, Uddhav Thackeray addressed the party’s Dussehra rally at the iconic Shivaji Park and had put the accused on the BJP of raising the Hindutva issue to divert attention from poverty, unemployment and inflation. Thackeray said: “RSS general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale has shown BJP the mirror.”
CONGRESS WALKS THE TALK ON EMPOWERING DALITS WITHIN PARTY STRUCTURE
The appointment of a well-known Dalit leader, Brijlal Khabri, by Congress party as its Uttar Pradesh chief, along with six zonal leads, is being seen as a move to salvage some political ground after being wiped out in the March 2022 assembly election in UP. Khabri will be supported by six zonal heads: Naseemuddin Siddiqui, Ajay Rai, Virendra Choudhary, Nakul Dubey, Anil Yadav and Yogesh Dikshit. The appointment of a Dalit leader in UP at the same time when veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge, another Dalit face, is being touted as a strong contender to head the party at the national level, is a clear indication that the Congress is trying to bring a change in the perception of its image of being an upper caste party. The Congress has now shown consistency in its plan to empower the weakest sections of the society, with Kharge contending to become the national president and Khabri picked to head the most populous state in the country. (IPA Service)