Ramesh becomes active
Former Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has become very active in the Rajya Sabha all of a sudden. Now that his term is coming to an end, he is trying to prove his usefulness in the House to ensure another term. Ramesh may not get a chance to participate in the debates, but he has become an integral part of the Congress’ shouting brigade. He keeps disrupting speakers from the BJP. On Wednesday, during the Augusta Westland debate, Ramesh started arguing with BJP members even when Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Leader of the Opposition was speaking. In fact, Ramesh has also cut down on his frequent foreign trips and is spending more time in Parliament.
Bengal is must win for Sita, Mamata
Sitaram Yechury will be in trouble if the Left-Congress experiment fails in West Bengal. He agreed to the alliance in spite of strong opposition from Prakash Karat and the Kerala unit of the CPM, and the Bengal battle may prove to be decisive for his political career. In fact, winning Bengal is imperative for Mamata Banerjee as well. Reports are mixed on her chances of returning to power.
Her recent threats against the police, the Election Commission and her bureaucrats are being seen as a manifestation of her worry that she may even lose the elections.
Meanwhile, the BJP is trying to increase its vote share from 17% in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. If it manages to do that, it is good news for Mamata as, thus, the BJP will divide the vote opposed to her.
Congress sniffs Kishor conspiracy
The Congress leadership has started looking at Prashant Kishor with suspicion ever since he has suggested that Rahul Gandhi should be named the party’s Chief Ministerial face in Uttar Pradesh. Congress leaders think that Kishor is working at the behest of Nitish Kumar, who wants to be projected as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the Opposition “alliance”, instead of Rahul. So Kishor wants the Congress vice president out of the Bihar CM’s way.
Ajit wants ‘his’ house back
Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh’s one-point agenda is to become an MP and a Cabinet minister so that he can get back his old house at 12 Tughlaq Road. This was the condition he put forth for merging his party with the BJP. His argument was that since the current occupant of the house, Minister of State Sarbananda Sonowal is likely to become Assam Chief Minister, the house will soon be vacant for him to occupy it. But the BJP wanted him to merge his party without any conditions.
This was the condition he put forth for merging his party with the BJP.
Hung in Tamil Nadu: Surveys
Two top Tamil Nadu newspapers, Daily Thanthi and Dinamalar have published surveys giving an edge to the Karunanidhi-led DMK over Chief Minster J. Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK. According to these surveys, neither of the two parties will get a clear majority.