Delusion or Political Craft?
During his visit to Delhi last week, Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba was felicitated by the India Foundation at an event that had Union ministers Nitin Gadkari, Ram Vilas Paswan, M.J. Akbar and V.K. Singh sharing the dais with the visiting PM. During his welcome address, Ram Vilas Paswan cautioned the Nepalese PM to be careful of China, warning him that China could do to Nepal what it did to Bhutan. Interestingly, Deuba made it a point to depart from his prepared speech to rebut Paswan, telling him not to worry about Nepal’s equation with China. Well, famous last words surely.
Looks like Lalu Yadav’s show of Opposition strength is going to be a flop show, with Mayawati declining to attend. (Even Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has decided that he’d rather visit Norway as part of a parliamentary delegation than attend the Patna rally). But Mayawati’s behaviour is interesting. Earlier, the BSP had also distanced itself from posters showing both Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav that were doing the rounds in Lucknow, stating that this was not the party line. The speculation doing the rounds is whether Mayawati would be part of the Modi vs Rest front or not. As it is, Mulayam Singh Yadav has indicated that he is against the Mahagathbandan, though son Akhilesh Yadav is on board. The NCP, too, is keeping the Congress guessing as to its intentions. Clearly, the Opposition needs to get its act together.
The court verdict on Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was appreciated by all except for the silence of the political class. Not one political party or CM came forward to applaud the verdict. After NewsX tweeted about this, late in the evening Manish Tewari, Congress national spokesperson tweeted, a journo friend queried that no one supported judgement in Ram Rahim case. Answer: Judiciary has reaffirmed however high you may be, law is above you. But Tewari’s line is not the party line, as officially the Congress is yet to react. And, of course, a stony silence from the BJP on this.