As variance with the Congress party continues to vitiate ties, the Samajwadi Party national president Akhilesh Yadav has asked party workers to settle ground for contesting on all 80 seats of Lok Sabha from Uttar Pradesh, adding that the party will field candidates on 65 seats. The inclusion of 65 seats were revealed during the SP chief’s address in the first meeting of the newly constituted state executive committee at the party headquarters in Lucknow. The SP chief did not reveal if the alliance partner – the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) – will get its share from the 65 seats that SP has set secured for itself, or will it accommodate them among the remaining 15 that the party plans to share with the INDIA bloc partners. Meanwhile, Akhilesh Yadav is now focussing on his PDA (Pichre, Dalit, Alpsankhyak) plank, and the SP is looking to woo non-Yadav Other Backward Classes (OBCs), who constitute about 35 per cent of the population. SP wants to directly connect with the youth of every village and chalking out a strategy for the future, in its bid for their Mission 80 in Uttar Pradesh for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
FRIENDLY FIRE BETWEEN NITISH, RJD DESPITE BIHAR MAHAGATHBANDHAN
The tension between JD(U) and RJD in Bihar was noticed once again when Chief Minister Nitish Kumar compared the electrification situation in the state since he took over the reins of Bihar in 2005 from Lalu Prasad’s RJD, currently the largest constituent of the ruling Mahagathbandan, to the present day. “Bees saal pehle kya thi bijli ki sthithi, yaad hai na (what was the condition of power supply 20 years back, do you remember),” Kumar asked the audience at a function to mark the 11th foundation day of the Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited (BSPHCL) in Patna, where he also inaugurated and laid foundation stone of power projects worth Rs 13,934.89 crore, of which Rs 12,509.74 crore would be spent for installation of smart prepaid meters in remaining 112 lakh households of rural consumers in the state. Nitish Kumar told his cabinet colleague Alok Mehta, who was also present at the programme, that his party (RJD) should not take sole credit for the recruitment of teachers in the state. Nitish Kumar called it a joint exercise of Bihar’s Mahagathbandhan government. Meanwhile, the Bihar unit of the RJD shared a cryptic post on X (formerly Twitter), thanking Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav for the recruitment of teachers. “What was promised was kept. Lived up to the expectations of the youth! Mahagathbandhan government Tejashwi Bihar is making it! 1,20, 336 teachers appointed History Maker Bihar,” Bihar unit of the RJD said in a post on X.
SIDDARAMAIAH, DK SHIVAKUMAR CAMPS ASKED NOT TO SPAR IN KARNATAKA
Karnataka Congress is seeing yet another tight fight between the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his deputy DK Shivakumar’s camp. However, Congress high command intervened in to de-escalate the internecine war between the two factions by strictly asking Cabinet members and MLAs to cease commenting on the party’s internal matters. AICC general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala, who oversees the party’s affairs in Karnataka, said: “I’m warning clearly and categorically that no minister or MLA should violate party discipline.” Loyalists of Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar have been commenting publicly on the chief minister’s tenure, aggravating and fuelling speculation on a power-sharing agreement between the two. Although Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar were asked to do more on amplifying the guarantees implemented, so that it bring benefits to the party in the Lok Sabha polls.
KARNATAKA BJP TO CHOOSE NEW STATE HEAD; KARANDLAJE A FRONT-RUNNER
Ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP seems all set to appoint a new state unit president in Karnataka. Senior Lingayat leader BS Yediyurappa is making all efforts for his son, state vice-president Vijayendra Yediyurappa, to be nominated for the position. The other contenders in the line are Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje and CT Ravi. Karandlaje, a Vokkaliga and the Lok Sabha MP from the Udupi-Chikkamagaluru constituency, is the front-runner for the post. Vokkaligas, who are a politically dominant community, are largely based in the Old Mysuru region of the state, where the BJP is planning to further consolidate its votes. The BJP has already declared its alliance with the JD(S) for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. JD(S), with a strong voter base in the Vokkaliga-dominated Old Mysuru region, is expected to boost the BJP’s prospects in the areas and it’s trying to make inroads. Nalin Kumar Kateel, who is at present serving as the BJP state president, was given an extension after his tenure ended last year. Although he was asked to step down after the defeat in the assembly elections, the BJP high command had asked him to continue till a suitable replacement is found.
JD(U) WANTS NITISH TO CONTEST LOK SABHA FROM A KURMI-DOMINATED SEAT
JD (U) leaders in Uttar Pradesh think that Bihar CM Nitish Kumar should contest from the Kurmi-dominated seats of Phulpur or Mirzapur in the 2024 general elections. Over 100 JD(U) office-bearers from different parts of Uttar Pradesh on 28 October arrived in Patna and interacted with the Bihar CM in separate groups to acquaint him about the current political scenario in Uttar Pradesh, trying to persuade him to contest from Phulpur or Mirzapur. JD(U) workers also raised slogans like “Desh ka PM kaisa ho, Nitish Kumar jaisa ho.” On the other hand, SP had an alliance with Apna Dal (Kamerwadi) and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav now looks forward to tie-up with Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) in UP. Nitish belongs to the Kurmi OBC community, and the SP comprehensively hopes to cash in on this to reach out to the OBCs in UP. Kurmis have the valuable potential to determine the electoral outcome in several seats in UP, as they are the second most influential OBC segment in the state. (IPA Service)