DEMOCRACY VIA NOMINATIONS

Despite all the drama about wanting to usher in democracy, Rahul Gandhi became Congress president via an uncontested election. But he did use the fig-leaf of democracy as a cover. Everyone expected the next step would be to hold elections to the Congress Working Committee at the party plenary, which is scheduled to be held this week. However, party sources claim that there will be no elections, only nominations. Of course, the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chiefs would be asked whether they wanted elections or the nomination route. And since all the PCC chiefs themselves are nominated, they can hardly insist on elections. And this is the way democracy works in the Grand Old Party.

MAHA CONFUSION OR GATHBANDAN?

Akhilesh Yadav has pulled off an alliance with the BSP that his father failed to live up to way back in 1993. It was after the Babri Masjid demolition and to check the rise of the right wing BJP that the two casteist parties joined hands. The alliance was fought on the slogan, “Jud Gaye Mulayam Kanshi Ram, Hawa Mein Ud Gaye Jai Shree Ram (the combination of Mulayam and Kanshi Ram has deccimated the BJP).” And it succeeded in defeating the BJP in the 1993 elections. However, the SP-BSP government that came to power did not last beyond two years and ended on a bitter note between Kanshi Ram’s successor Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav. However, Akhilesh has shown a sense of political maturity in extending an olive branch to his father’s bête-noir. He has realised that the only way to beat the BJP is for the two to join hands. Akhilesh was successful in persuading Mayawati to lend support to the SP candidate in the Phulpur and Gorakhpur bypolls. In fact, the SP leader has also been pragmatic enough to offer his Bua-ji (as he refers to Mayawati) the leadership of the anti BJP front. Unlike Mayawati, Akhilesh has age on his side and can afford to bide his time. The Congress, however, seems to be in two minds. While its leaders say that they would like to see a BSP-SP-Congress Mahagathbandan in UP on the lines of the Bihar experiment, the Congress did not support the SP candidate in the recent bypolls, but fielded its own candidate against the SP and the BJP. However, Akhilesh is confident of getting the Congress on board in time for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, along with the BSP..

PERKS OF THE JOB

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who is known as KCR, just received media flak for ordering a Rs 7 crore luxury bullet-proof Mercedes Benz bus. It is said that his security has been increased after a Naxal threat and so his Rs 4 crore bus too got an upgrade. Two years ago, he had upgraded his residence and moved into a Rs 50 crore bullet-proof fortress. Apart from security concerns, Vaastu also played a role in this rather lavish makeover. Oh well, guess this is one of the perks of being Chief Minister!

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