Cool Breeze: A bit too Azad?

Cool Breeze: A bit too Azad?

By PRIYA SAHGAL | 16 January, 2016
A bit too Azad?
There is some curiosity in the BJP about why the Speaker, Sumita Mahajan, allowed Kirti Azad to speak in the Lok Sabha on the DDCA issue in the last session. In fact, when he was suspended for “anti party” activities, Azad in his defence said he only spoke because the Speaker allowed him to speak. He was reacting to charges that he had raised the DDCA issue at the behest of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. As a senior BJP leader pointed out, “This is the first time since Chandrashekharji (former Prime Minister) that an MP has spoken against his own party inside the Lok Sabha.”
 
Different Strokes
There are differences amongst the Left Front as to the strategy for the elections in West Bengal later this year. Former general secretary of the party, Prakash Karat prefers to go it alone. In a recent article in the party mouthpiece People’s Democracy, he has argued in favour of expanding the party’s “independent strength”, while current general secretary Sitaram Yechury has called for a more “flexible united front tactics”. Of course, the problem is that the Congress is equally divided, with the central leadership arguing for a tie-up with the Trinamool Congress, while the state Congress leadership prefers the Left Front. 
 
Prime Time Viewing
There is a strong rumour doing the rounds at the BJP headquarters in Delhi. According to this, every night, a short presentation capturing the highlights of BJP spokespersons’ performance on primetime debates is made and sent to the Prime Minister’s Office. 
 
Political Moves
Captain Amarinder Singh’s tie up with Manpreet Badal, the estranged relative of the ruling Badal family of Punjab, should not surprise anyone. A few months ago, at the launch of Captain Amarinder Singh’s book on the 1965 war, Manpreet Badal was seated right in the front row. And in case anyone missed him, he also asked the first question during the Q&A that followed. Tying up with the Captain was clearly the next chapter in this political novel.
 
Next President?
Is Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan tipped to be the BJP’s choice for the next President of India? Current President Pranab Mukherjee’s term ends mid 2017, and according to BJP sources, they are seriously considering Mahajan’s candidature. In which case, all the veterans of the Margdarshak Mandal will be sorely disappointed.

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