Uttarakhand Cong angry with Rahul
The Congress leadership in Uttarakhand is blaming Rahul Gandhi’s “arrogant behaviour” for the turn of events that led to nine party MLAs, who wanted to meet him to demand a new Chief Minister, take the rebellion route in Dehradun. Rahul refused to meet them or entertain the demand to replace the CM just as he had done before the 2014 Lok Sabha election. The buzz is that if Rahul continues to behave in the same “arrogant” manner, some other states may slip out of Congress hands, just as in the case of Uttarakhand.
Will Indira Hridayesh replace Harish Rawat?
Indira Hridayesh, a Brahmin and favourite of veteran Congress leader Narayan Dutt Tiwari (NDT), may emerge as the “compromise” CM candidate in Uttarakhand. The nine rebel Congress MLAs are apparently willing to return to the Congress fold on the condition that Harish Rawat be replaced. Hridayesh has been a long-standing contender for the CM’s post. If the floor test in the Uttarakhand Assembly goes through, and the rebel MLAs vote in favour of the Congress, Hridayesh may emerge as the new CM. That would signal the Congress’ attempt to mend fences with the Brahmins who are said to be upset with the party for the way NDT, a respected Brahmin face, was treated and for the manner in which rebel “Congress leader” Vijay Bahuguna was ousted by Rawat.
B’desh govt’s ‘blunder’ on I-Day
The Bangladesh government has triggered a huge hue and cry among the people by committing a major blunder on 26 March, the nation’s Independence Day. It sent out supplements without the pictures or any mention of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the nation’s founding leader as well as the slain father of incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Satish Sharma may go to RS from UP
Congress veteran and Gandhi family loyalist Captain Satish Sharma is set to make a comeback to parliamentary politics, as he is likely to be the Congress candidate for Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh this year. UP has 11 Rajya Sabha seats, seven of which will go to the Samajwadi Party, two to the Bahujan Samaj Party and one to BJP.
This leaves the Congress, which does not have the numbers. So the party is talking to Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal to see if they together can manage the numbers and get a Congress candidate elected. But Ajit Singh himself wants to be in the Rajya Sabha.
So if talks fail, the Congress will need Samajwadi Party support. In exchange, the Congress will have to surrender Naseeb Pathan’s MLC seat.
Madhusudan Mistry ‘sidelined’
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s favourite Madhusudan Mistry has effectively “ceded power” to election strategist Prashant Kishor, though Mistry is still the party general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh. When a group of people from Gajraula in Amroha district and Moradabad district met Mistry this week to submit their resumes for the Assembly elections next year, Mistry told them “Mere hath mein kuch nahi hai. I am sorry, I can’t help you.” He told them to approach Kishor.
Rahul Gandhi’s favourite Mistry has effectively “ceded power” to election strategist Prashant Kishor.
Congress in a spot in Wakf land case
The Congress leadership in Karnataka is on the back foot after leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, and several other party bigwigs were allegedly implicated in the Anwar Manippady report in a Wakf Board land case. Besides Kharge, Congress leaders, including Wakf Minister Qamarul Islam, Dharam Singh, C.K. Jaffer Sharief, C.M. Ibrahim, Rahaman Khan and N.A. Haris have been allegedly named in the report for encroaching on Wakf land. The Congress government in Karnataka has refused to table the report and Kharge is clearly a worried man, even willing to patch up with his archrival, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. Recently, Kharge was seen driving to the CM’s house for the first time. The buzz is that Kharge urged the CM to save him.