R.C.P. Singh is the man behind Nitish

If Nitish Kumar is Bihar Chief Minister once again, the credit goes to Janata Dal (United) MP, R.C.P. Singh, and not to election strategist Prashant Kishor. The Grand Alliance in Bihar was Singh’s idea. The schemes and promises that paid Kumar the maximum electoral dividends were devised by Singh, including giving cycles to, and making education compulsory for girls, ensuring women empowerment, promising a ban on liquor once he became CM, etc. Kishor is a technocrat who just implemented what he was told to do. A 1984 batch IAS officer from the UP cadre, but originally from Bihar, Singh took voluntary retirement from the civil services in 2010 to work with Nitish Kumar. A Rajya Sabha member, he is one of Kumar’s main pillars of strength and is all set to be re-nominated to the Upper House. Out of the two vacancies that JDU will have in June, one seat will go to Singh and the other may go to Sharad Yadav. RCP is now working hard to make Nitish Kumar Prime Minister in 2019.

A Rajya Sabha member, he is one of Kumar’s main pillars of strength and is all set to be re-nominated.

Karnataka not keen on Ramesh

Former Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh is a worried man. His term in the Rajya Sabha is coming to an end in July 2016 and the Congress is struggling to find a seat for him. The only possibility is Karnataka where the Congress is in power, but a large section of the party is against Ramesh’s nomination from there. They have already told the Congress high command that Ramesh represents Andhra Pradesh and cannot just float into Karnataka for a Rajya Sabha berth.

‘CPM will govern with Cong’

The CPM will not hesitate to form government with Congress help in West Bengal if their “alliance” gets a majority in the Assembly elections. With the objective being keeping the TMC out of power, a senior CPM leader threatened that “If the central leadership opposes any such plan, there might be a split in the Bengal CPM.”

Maurya elevation makes BJP’s U.P. Brahmins unhappy

The appointment of Keshav Prasad Maurya as BJP’s Uttar Pradesh unit president has not gone down well with the Brahmin leaders of the party in the state. Maurya belongs to the most backward class among OBCs and his rise has made senior Brahmin leaders such as Kalraj Mishra unhappy. There is speculation that Mishra, who is a Union Cabinet minister, may even be dropped in the next reshuffle because he is crossing 75 this year. This may boomerang on the BJP by turning the Brahmins against the party in the state. The party’s erstwhile Brahmin face from UP, Kesri Nath Tripathi is unhappy as Governor of a volatile state such as West Bengal. Lalji Tandon too is unhappy for being overlooked. Although Tandon is not a Brahmin, but because of his proximity to Atal Behari Vajpayee, BJP’s tallest Brahmin leader in the Hindi belt, he is presumed to be a Brahmin. All this makes the Congress happy, because it is likely to be perceived as the only option for Brahmins in the state. The Congress has started the hunt for a credible Brahmin face either as general secretary in charge of UP or for the post of PCC president. Jitin Prasada, Pramod Tiwari and even Sheila Dikshit are being considered for this. If Dikshit is made the general secretary then the Congress would like to have a Muslim as PCC chief.

Congress yet to finalise Tamil Nadu candidates

Elections in Tamil Nadu are just a month away, but the Congress is yet to finalise its list of candidates there. This is delaying the announcement of DMK candidates, causing much tension between the allies. The delay is because P. Chidambaram is pushing his supporters in certain seats — seats that the DMK too wants. Meanwhile, local media reports suggest that Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa is losing ground and is unlikely to gain a full majority. In case there is a hung Assembly, the deciding factor is likely to be the Vaiko-led “left front”.

Pranab cancelled at last minute

Why did President Pranab Mukherjee cancel his visit to the international homeopathy conference at the last moment, especially since he had already agreed to inaugurate it? If sources close to the President are to be believed, it was because his secretariat had not done a background check of the organisers. The programme had to be cancelled as the protocol department found out at the last moment that all was not right with the organisers.

Congress believes it will win Assam

The Muslim community is believed to have voted en bloc for the Congress in the second phase of the Assam elections, leaving Badruddin Ajmal of the AIUDF in the lurch.

With the Muslim vote not getting divided and with their voting percentage being as high as 88%, the tide has turned in the favour of the Congress, which believes it will form government in Assam.

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