Voices rise against Yogi
Voices against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath are rising. While many BJP leaders and workers are talking in whispers, the saffron party’s allies have started questioning his capability to lead them to victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Many are wondering whether this has a tacit support from the top leadership. Yogi recently called on the BJP president Amit Shah where they discussed the trend of regional parties coming together to challenge the BJP.
The BJP leadership is worried about Uttar Pradesh as it sends the biggest chunk of 80 MPs to the 545-member Lok Sabha. The party has been exploring how to plug the breach being caused by the Opposition parties. One of the solutions in Yogi’s mind is to go for a Cabinet expansion and induct MLAs from Dalit and most backward communities (MBCs) to attract the vote bank of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party and the Congress. The state bureaucracy also does not seem to be happy with Yogi’s style of functioning.
Another cause of worry is the rise of “dissenting voices from within the NDA”. The state minister Om Prakash Rajbhar has termed disenchantment of OBCs as one of key reasons for the BJP’s defeat in the recent bypolls.
The Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party leader has claimed that backward classes are unhappy as the BJP leader from the community, Keshav Prasad Maurya, was not made Chief Minister. Rajbhar points out that the 2017 Assembly election was fought under the leadership of an OBC and the then state BJP president Keshav Prasad Maurya. “But after coming to power,” he complains, “the BJP appointed a Thakur (Yogi Adityanath) as the CM who was not even in the contest.”
In his opinion, the Yogi government has done nothing to ensure the participation of the Dalits, OBCs and minorities in the day-to-day running of the administration.
“There is little presence of these people in the police stations, tehsils, districts and sub-district courts. The benefit of the state and central government schemes is also not reaching them,” he points out commenting that “only when there is a crisis in governance that a ruling party loses byelections.”
Asked if things would have been different if Keshav Prasad Maurya would have been CM, Rajbhar says that “a person serving food always takes care of people he knows”.
Amit Shah embarks on a political pilgrimage
The Opposition is watching BJP chief Amit Shah’s “new pilgrimage” across the country. He is meeting prominent personalities, including former leaders of the BJP and its allies. Shah’s list includes sportspersons, actors, singers, social workers and former bureaucrats. It is learnt that Shah has undertaking this pilgrimage on the advice of his boss, Prime Minister Narendra Modi. An olive branch has been offered to party veterans L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi. There are reports of fielding them in the next general elections and giving them respect by placing them at high advisory positions in the party.
The BJP has a tough job in hand to compete for the 2019 polls. Its allies in Bihar and UP will raise tough demands. Political pundits are wondering whether Shah will visit Srinagar also to meet Jammu and Kashmir CM, Mehbooba Mufti. Because of unabated cases of militant attacks on the army and security agencies and continuous firing at India-Pakistan border, the relationship between the BJP and the PDP are quite low these days. To tackle Mehbooba and the Valley situation, only Home Minister Rajnath Singh is shuttling between New Delhi and Srinagar. “It is high time Amit Shah included Srinagar in his itinerary,” says Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh
Punjabis Participate big In Ontario Polls
A big number of Punjabis participated in the 7 June Ontario provincial elections for 124 constituencies. It has been seen as a sign of the rising influence of the Punjabi Diaspora in Canada’s political arena. All three major political organisations—the Liberals, National Democratic Party (NDP) and the Progressive Conservative Party (PC) —relied heavily on South Asians. But they focused mainly on Punjabis. Punjabis dominated the lists of candidates—nine were fielded by the PC, followed by seven by the Liberals and four by the NDP.
The Liberals have been projecting themselves as the “champions” of protection of rights of migrants. The PC is considered to represent the Canadian natives more. The NDP is known for its slight left leanings.
Jagmeet Singh has already wrested the top position of the NDP as its national president. He is seen as a “big threat” to Canada’s top Liberal leader and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Aim to install martyrs’ statues in Britain
Sanjay Dalmia (74), a noted industrialist and former Rajya Sabha member, has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his blessings and cooperation in installing statues of several martyrs of the freedom struggle in London and other cities of Britain. “To start with,” Dalmia wrote, “we are planning to install the statue of Shaheed Udham Singh (who went to England with the aim of killing Dwyer), in London to commemorate the 100th year of Jallianwalah Bagh in 2019.”
A Punjab revolutionary, Udham Singh belonged to the Ghadar Party. He assassinated Michael O’ Dwyer, the former Lieutenant Governor of Punjab on 13 March 1940. The assassination was in revenge for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar in 1919. Singh was convicted of murder and hanged in July 1940.
Dalmia and Jai Madaan, a social activist, have formed the “Bharat Maa Shaheed Samman Trust”, with the aim of honouring Indian freedom fighters.“It has been decided by the Bharat Maa Shaheed Samman Trust and the Hindustan Republican Army to install statue of martyrs like Shaheed Chandra Sekhar Azad, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Udham Singh, Shaheed Raj Guru, Shaheed Ram Prasad Bismil, Shaheed Shyamji Krishna Verma etc. in various cities of England,” Dalmia and Madaan wrote in their letter to the PM. The Hindustan Republican Army was established by freedom fighter Chandra Sekhar Azad.
The problem in Dalmia’s grand plan is that the freedom fighters in his mind were “terrorists’ in the eyes of the British Raj.