SP, Congress in friendly fights in some seats
Despite the alliance between the Samajwadi Party and the Congress, candidates from both parties are facing each other in about 17 to 18 seats, thus cutting into each other’s votes. One such constituency is Amethi, where Amita Singh, the second wife of Congress’ Sanjay Singh, the “raja” of Amethi who is also the chairman of Congress’ campaign committee, is contesting against SP’s sitting MLA Gayatri Prajapati. Prajapati was given the ticket before the alliance took place. He refused to withdraw his candidature, as he contested against Amita Singh in 2012 and won the seat. The fight in Amethi has become more interesting as the BJP has given its ticket to the real “rani” of Amethi, or the first wife of Sanjay Singh, Garima Singh. A huge sympathy factor is working for Garima Singh, as she is seen as the neglected wife of Sanjay Singh. In Lucknow Central, Maroof Khan, the ex chairman of Congress’ UP minority cell, is contesting against SP candidate Ravidas Mehrotra. Apparently, SP’s Muslim cadre is working for Maroof Khan. In Pratapgarh, SP’s Raja Bhaiyya is facing one Anup Pandey, a Brahmin candidate of the Congress. The other seats where such contests are taking place include Purqazi in Muzaffarnagar, and Deoband, among others.
AAP may do well in Punjab
Punjab is likely to get an Aam Aadmi Party government, brushing aside challenges from Captain Amarinder Singh. AAP is believed to have done well in the Malwa region. Punjab has a substantial Dalit population, but Mayawati’s BSP has proved to be a non starter there, as most Dalits have gone with AAP. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal may have already conceded defeat, because it is being said that he has helped Captain Amarinder Singh by getting the Akali vote transferred to the Congress.
Uttarakhand may favour BJP
Uttarakhand is seeing a Brahmin consolidation in favour of the BJP, which was completed after Narain Dutt Tiwari quit the Congress. The issue of surgical strike is also helping the BJP here. It’s a big issue here because almost every family in Uttarakhand has or had a member in the Army. Now that Bipin Rawat, a Thakur, is the Army chief will also help the BJP, which is likely to get votes cutting across caste lines.
PK is in trouble
Prashant Kishor is in trouble if the Congress fails to form government in either Punjab or Uttarakhand. In Punjab, he has already extracted a “thanksgiving” feast for himself and his team from Captain Amarinder Singh, but this is one state that the Congress is likely to lose. He was given a big welcome by Harish Rawat in Uttarakhand, but the BJP will almost certainly form government here. He has also been heard bragging that he is now advising Priyanka Vadra on UP. The question is: what happens to PK if the Congress fails in all these states?
It’s BJP vs Congress in TaMil Nadu
Tamil Nadu’s “war of succession” is being fought actually between BJP and Congress, with O. Panneerselvan having the Centre’s support and Sasikala the Congress’. It is being alleged that it is at the behest of the BJP that the Governor is delaying swearing in Sasikala. He is said to be waiting for the court’s verdict. But even if the verdict goes against Sasikala, she will make someone of her choice the Chief Minister. The BJP is even working to split the AIADMK and is tapping Rajnikant and even the DMK to do the job. The Congress is secretly backing Sasikala, whose husband Natrajan had come to Delhi some weeks ago to meet the Congress leaders. He also met President Pranab Mukherjee’s son.