By Rahil Nora Chopra
There is much chance of a massive rejig in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Union Cabinet. According to sources, four to five BJP ministers may be shuffled out of the Cabinet and brought back in the party organisation. The rejig is focused on the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, which will entail huge political stakes and alliance equations in big states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Telangana. In the reshuffle, the Shiv Sena faction headed by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who commands the support of a majority of Sena MPs, is likely to get representation in the Cabinet.
AKHILESH YADAV BATS FOR CASTE CENSUS
After securing a big win for wife Dimple Yadav in the Mainpuri by-election and bringing back uncle Shivpal Yadav into the party fold, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav is now preparing his political ground afresh from home. He is aiming to heavily raise the issue of caste census, thereby directly connecting with the youth of every village and chalking out a strategy for the future. Akhilesh has lauded Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for initiating caste census in his state, saying that the British too had thought in 1931 about the move, which alone could ensure the development and empowerment of all castes.
UDDHAV ALLIES WITH PRAKASH AMBEDKAR FOR MUMBAI CIVIC POLLS
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has made announcement for an alliance with Prakash Ambedkar’s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) as he preps for the upcoming Mumbai civic polls. The strategic move is seen as an attempt by Thackeray to consolidate and strengthen the support among Dalits. Ambedkar said that the alliance is between the Shiv Sena (UBT) and the VBA for the moment, but he hoped that on the same lines, the other constituents of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party) will also join. The alliance will face off against the BJP-Shinde Sena-RPI combine in the upcoming BMC elections, the first test since the upheaval last year that led to the fall of the MVA government in Maharashtra. The fight for control over the BMC will be a key prestigious fight between the two warring factions of the Shiv Sena, ahead of the assembly elections slated for 2024.
WILL UPENDRA KUSHWAHA LEAVE NITISH-LED JD(U) FOR BJP?
After Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar categorically ruled out the possibility of appointing another deputy, other than Tejashwi Yadav, differences between Upendra Kushwaha and Nitish has been widening day by day. CM Nitish suspects that Kushwaha, a key aide who has of late fallen out of favour with him, could be hobnobbing with the BJP. Nitish said: “He may talk nonsense for as long as he pleases and leave the day he wishes to.” On the other hand, Kushwaha has expressed his reaction in a tweet: “Well said, Bhai Saheb ….! If the younger brothers keep leaving the house like this at the advice of the elder brothers, then all elder brother will grab the entire properties of Baap-Dada (ancestors) by throwing away the younger brothers. How can I go out (of the party) while leaving behind my shares in entire properties…?” However, Kushwaha has strongly cleared the air and firmly stated that he will never become a member of the BJP. But he remained evasive on the question of floating a party and joining the NDA ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
CONGRESS FOCUSES ON WOMEN TO TURN KARNATAKA’S POLL TIDE IN ITS FAVOUR
Ahead of assembly elections in Karnataka, Congress is strategically focussing on women voters promising cash transfers and a separate manifesto. The Congress has announced that Rs 2,000 would be credited to the account of the female head of households every month if it’s voted to power. It has also promised 200 units of free power a month to all homes in the State. Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra will end in Srinagar on 30 January, after the hoisting of the national flag. Post the culmination of the much-lauded Yatra, Gandhi’s entire focus will fall on the upcoming assembly elections, including those in the three northeastern states — Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland which go to polls next month. Rahul will also campaign extensively in Telangana, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, where assembly elections are due this year. (IPA Service)