On PM’s cue, big applause for Nadda

Before the Bihar results started coming in, many in the BJP were tense as they were not expecting the BJP-JDU alliance coming to power. The party workers had missed master-strategist Amit Shah, as he could not do campaigning due to his health issues. But the party leadership, especially J.P. Nadda, who was born and brought up in Patna, was sure of its victory and forming the government once again with the JDU. During the programme Narendra Modi prompted the leaders and workers to applaud Nadda and encouraged slogan-shouting. Modi said it was Nadda’s efficiency and strategies that ensured BJP’s “victories in the southern states of Karnataka and Telangana, Manipur in the Northeast, Gujarat in west, Bihar in the east, and Madhya Pradesh and it is praiseworthy.” Then Modi began clapping. Getting a cue, other leaders on the dais stood up and also began clapping. Modi then asked the people to shout the slogan “Nadda Ji Aage Badho, Hum Tumhare Saath Hain (You march ahead, we are with you).”

BJP Looking For Candidates in Punjab

The BJP has started concentrating on states where it was dependent on its regional alliance partners. The idea is to go solo. Though the Assembly elections in Punjab are a year away, the party has started an internal survey to find candidates for all 117 Punjab constituencies after its alliance partner, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), broke away recently. The SAD was considered the BJP’s oldest ally. It used to offer only 23 seats to the BJP. On several occasions, the BJP had tried to bargain for more seats but always received a cold shoulder. And now, BJP’s senior leaders, including former ministers Madan Mohan Mittal and Manoranjan Kalia, have started visiting constituencies to identify “suitable candidates”. Mittal, who had dared SAD to leave the alliance, told The Sunday Guardian that “We are trying to check the ground reality, local factors and the mood of our workers to identify candidates, especially in constituencies where we never contested.”

Faction feud in Kerala BJP

In Kerala, BJP’s factional feud continues to increase, causing concern to the BJP president J.P. Nadda as assembly elections are in 2021. Local body elections are next month. Nadda took time off to meet Kerala party head K. Surendran in New Delhi twice on Monday evening and Tuesday morning. Nadda asked Surendran to take immediate steps to sort out all party issues. Nadda apparently asked why there were changes in the list of the names cleared by the central leadership for appointments in the state organisation.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Water: Naidu

The Vice President and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, M. Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday painted a grim picture of the availability of drinking water globally and said that in India it was going to affect development if correct steps were not taken now. “We need a ‘Jan Andolan’ on water conservation.” Delivering a virtual inaugural address at the Second National Water Awards ceremony, Naidu said he was speaking out of personal experience as he was the Urban Development Minister when it was launched. “People must understand that water is a finite resource and not unlimited and they must change their life styles as only 3% of the water available on earth constitutes freshwater and that only 0.5 % of that is available for drinking. Rainwater harvesting must be made mandatory for every new building.” Stating that India’s current water requirement is estimated to be around 1100 billion cubic meters per year and that it is projected to touch 1447 BCM by 2050, he said that with rising population, urbanization, industrialization and expanding agricultural activities, the water requirement would continue to increase.  Naidu complimented all the winners, including Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Rajasthan for bagging the first, second and third prize respectively.

Cricket Diplomacy in Maldives

India is building a cricket stadium in Maldives. During his recent visit to Male, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said an IPL match might be hosted in the country soon. For long, India has been coaching Maldives cricketers and officials. Many coaching sessions for coaches and umpires have taken place. Soon, coaching of 30-member men’s and women’s teams each is going to start in Chennai.

Virtual Military Literature Festival

Because of restrictions in place due to Covid-19, the Military Literature Festival (MLF)’s fourth edition will take place virtually this time in Chandigarh on 18, 19 and 20 December. An annual affair, it is conducted by the Punjab Government and the Western Army Command to honour and commemorate the legendary bravery and sacrifices of the Indian soldiers and to bring on to a common platform experts to deliberate on contemporary military, security and geopolitical issues. A large number of serving and retired defence officers are going to participate in the discussions.