The stakes are certainly high as regional parties eye the general elections of 2019. With the Trinamool Congress out on the streets, protesting the arrest of its senior MPs and the Samajwadi Party hit by a Mahabharata between the brothers, uncles and nephews, the regional players are fighting for the larger share of political power in Delhi. Mamata Banerjee seems to have rekindled her fighting spirit and is out on the streets, something, which has managed to catapult her to the Chief Minister’s post in the crucial state of Bengal.
The Congress party’s electoral strategy for Uttar Pradesh seems to be evolving every day. It might continue to evolve until the day before polling, or if I may say so, on polling day itself. For it is clear, the appointment of key strategist Prashant Kishor, with a 100 per cent strike rate, is not enough for the faction ridden, patron-client relationship model that the party thrives upon. The prospect of Priyanka Gandhi saving the old and not so grand party from repeated electoral debacles seems dim.
With barely a week to go before the 30 December 2016 deadline, the troubles associated with a cashless existence remain. However, the move has garnered mixed reactions, especially since a section of the poor and middle class still see it as a measure that would tackle corruption even after 43 days of endless queues and empty ATM machines. This may seem baffling to many, but a detailed enquiry would reveal why some sections continue to support the move.