SIDHU FOR AAP IN PUNJAB?
It’s no secret that AAP is looking for a CM face to propel in Punjab. While Captain Amarinder Singh believes that Arvind Kejriwal himself is keen on the job, the party is short-listing names and after having rejected Gul Panag, Bhagwant Mann and even H.S. Phoolka, the AAP seems to be counting on the sulking Navjot Sidhu. The former BJP MP is said to be quite upset with the party for denying him the Amritsar Lok Sabha ticket and is said to be in talks with the AAP from his hospital bed, as he recuperates from an illness. Interestingly, Sidhu’s supporters’ grouse is that the Prime Minister is yet to visit or ask after him, although PM Modi did tweet a get-well-soon to his colleague. Watch this space for more.
BJP chief Amit Shah’s re-election last fortnight was a smooth affair, with all his detractors from the Marg Darshak brigade giving the event a miss. As for his other rivals in the party, Shah got Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to propose his name. As a result, Advani and Co could not then pitch Shivraj as a contender for Shah’s job.
After Mehbooba Mufti’s cold shoulder, BJP leaders have been privately speculating why it has such a problem keeping women allies. From the time when Jayalalithaa pulled out of the A.B. Vajpayee government in 1999, and Mayawati voted against them in the confidence vote that followed, to now with Mehbooba refusing to play ball in Kashmir. Even Mamata Banerjee has played hot and cold with the BJP earlier.
Sonia Gandhi has herself admitted to having differences with Sharad Pawar, but during an interview with NewsX, NCP leader Praful Patel pointed out that their party was the only ally of the Congress, which has not played both sides and done business with BJP. Whether it was the DMK, AIADMK, PDP, NC, Mayawati, or Mamata, they have all been in an alliance with the BJP at some point or the other. (Even Mulayam Singh Yadav had conspired with L.K. Advani to ensure Sonia Gandhi did not become Prime Minister in 1999 as has been well recorded in Advani’s memoirs). Well, one will have to see the NCP’s stance if the BJP-Sena government in Maharashtra falls before a final word on this can be taken.