By Rahil Nora Chopra
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra will reach Madhya Pradesh, entering it from the Burhanpur district on November 20. This would the seventh state of the Yatra, which has by now acquired a cult following. According to sources, Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to visit two Jyotirlinga temples: Omkareshwar in Khandwa and Ujjain’s Mahakaleshwar. However, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge chaired a review meeting at the party’s war room in New Delhi, and Congress sources hinted that some modifications would be made to the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra. After witnessing a massive and immense response to the Yatra, the party is now planning another mass outreach program, this time from west to east, that is from Gujarat to West Bengal, next year.
WILL UNCLE SHIVPAL CAMPAIGN FOR MAINPURI BYPOLL CANDIDATE DIMPLE?
The Samajwadi Party has declared the name of Shivpal Singh Yadav as one of its campaigners for the Mainpuri bypoll. The party had on November 10 announced that the party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav would be the candidate for the Mainpuri parliamentary seat, which fell vacant after the death of his father Mulayam Singh Yadav. The list sent to the Election Commission by SP principal general secretary, Ram Gopal Yadav, has 40 names, including that of Shivpal Yadav — founder of Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia (PSPL) and brother of Mulayam Singh Yadav. Will Shivpal Yadav, who has kept distance from Mainpuri by-election till now, campaign for his niece-in-law, Dimple? This question is still a topic of discussion in political circles. However, the father and son duo, that is Shivpal Singh Yadav and Aditya Yadav, were conspicuous in their absence during Dimple Yadav’s filing of party nomination papers. Interestingly, Shivpal’s name was missing from the list of SP’s star campaigners in Rampur and Azamgarh Lok Sabha bypolls held on June 23. Akhilesh Yadav has surprised everyone by including Shivpal’s name among the star campaigners. Now it will be interesting to see whether Shivpal Singh Yadav campaigns for Dimple Yadav, or keeps distance from the by-election.
CONGRESS BETS ON GUJARAT, ALLY NCP TO CONTEST IN 3 SEATS
The Congress is seeking to regain its power in Gujarat, where the BJP has been ruling for 27 years. Gujarat, which is the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is all set to see a triangular electoral contest between the BJP, Congress and AAP. However, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) announced that its chief Sharad Pawar, along with senior leaders, will lead the party’s campaign for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections on December 1 and 5. NCP released its list of 31 star campaigners, including former Union minister Praful Patel, Maharashtra unit president Jayant Patil, former Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, NCP MP Supriya Sule, Chhagan Bhujbal, and spokesman Clyde Crasto, among others. The Pawar-led NCP will contest in three seats – Umreth in Anand district, Naroda in Ahmedabad, and Devgadh Baria in Dahod district – of the total 182 seats.
RESTORATION OF OLD PENSION SCHEME A BIG POLL PLANK IN GUJARAT
The demand for restoration of the old pension scheme (OPS) has appeared as a major poll plank in Gujarat with both the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party promising to implement it if voted to power in the state where the Assembly elections are scheduled next month. While Congress stated about its manifesto, released by Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, which duly reflects the people’s voice as the Congress had consulted 62 lakh individuals in an elaborate physical and online exercise. However, Congress has been making prominent election promises in every state, the Gujarat manifesto has gone far beyond the rest. It promises LPG cylinders for Rs 500 each, a monthly unemployment allowance of Rs 3,000 for every youth, and Rs 4 lakh in compensation to each family that lost a member to Covid. Scholarships ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 20,000 to poor students, farm loan waivers up to Rs 3 lakh, restoration of the old pension scheme, 300 units of free electricity, a minimum support price for all crops, medical insurance of up to Rs 10 lakh to every citizen and free kindergarten-to-post graduation education to girl children are some of the other promises.
BIHAR CM NITISH KUMAR LAMPOONED OVER REVENUE LOSS FROM PROHIBITION
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is being criticized for the alleged poor implementation of liquor prohibition. Poll strategist Prashant Kishor shared and brought to notice that the state was suffering from revenue losses of nearly Rs 15,000 crore to Rs 20,000 crore per year. In a major embarrassment to the Nitish Kumar government, JD (U) parliamentary board chairman Upendra Kushwaha had stated that the prohibition law was not successful in the state, and it came after Bihar CM had ordered for strict implementation of the prohibition law by cracking down on liquor suppliers. Meanwhile, National Lok Janshakti Party’s national spokesperson Shravan Kumar Agarwal made a statement that Upendra Kushwaha was allegedly in communication with the NDA. BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand has also tweeted and said that many people of JDU are in touch with BJP.
CPI(M), CONGRESS MAY BAND TOGETHER AGAINST BJP-IPFT FOR TRIPURA POLLS
Ahead of the Tripura Assembly polls scheduled to be held next year, the CPI(M), and the Congress have given clues for a possible alliance to dethrone the ruling BJP-Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) combine that has been in power since 2018. Former chief minister Manik Sarkar told that all the secular, democratic forces must join hands to beat the BJP. Political observers says that the CPI(M) and the Congress have in common is the history of rivalry in the past several years that might become a barrier in the possibilities of an alliance between them. Meanwhile TIPRA Motha party led by royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarma has emerged as a vital political party ahead of the polls with its slogan of Greater Tipraland, a proposed separate statehood for the indigenous communities of Tripura. (IPA Service)