BJP’s rise good for Congress in Kerala
The BJP is likely to increase its vote share in Kerala substantially from the 11% it polled in the 2011 Assembly elections, say journalists from the state. It may even get one to three seats, unlike the last time, when it did not get even one. If this happens then the Congress will return to power as the BJP will eat into the Opposition CPM’s vote share. If the Congress-led front returns to power, it will be for the first time in 40 years that the incumbent front will get another term. The last time Kerala repeated a government was in 1977, when the Congress led front returned to power. People in Kerala alternate between the CPM- and Congress-led fronts every five years.
Bishnoi got snubbed
Bhajan Lal’s son and former MP, Kuldeep Bishnoi’s political career has been at a standstill, ever since his father’s death in 2011. The party that the late Bhajan Lal founded in 2007 after breaking off from the Congress, the Haryana Janhit Congress has been doing badly in elections. Ahead of HJC’s merger with the Congress this week, Bishnoi met Sonia Gandhi and said that he should be given the charge of the Congress in Haryana as that would revive the party not just in that state but also in Delhi and Rajasthan. It seems that Sonia Gandhi tersely told him that over the years he had shown that he could not be trusted and that if he had stayed with the Congress he would have emerged at the top sooner or later, but with his bargaining and flip flops he had made it difficult even to suggest that to her party men. Bishnoi left demoralised.
BJP rejects Ajit’s demands
Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Ajit Singh had approached the BJP saying he was willing to merge his party with it provided it gave him a Rajya Sabha seat and made his son the Chief Ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh. However, all his demands were rejected and he was asked to merge his party with the BJP first and then raise his demands. Now Singh has nowhere to go, considering he has already spurned the merger of his party with Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United.
Signs of change in Bengal?
Armed policemen escorted CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s car when he went to campaign in West Bengal last week. Yechury had never received any police protection in Bengal. When he asked the policemen about this, they told him that they were following “instructions from the top”. The CPM is seeing this as a signal that it is doing well in the Assembly elections. “Changes in the behaviour of the police generally indicate upcoming changes. Before the 2011 Assembly elections, the police had stopped listening to us,” said a senior CPM leader.
Jaya, not Amma
Jayalalithaa is fed up of being called Amma. All the schemes that she has started are by the name of Amma. She was heard complaining to CPI leader D. Raja that she is losing her name and people will know her only by the name of Amma.
Scared of Vaiko
MDMK leader Vaiko’s decision to withdraw from the contest from the Kovilpatti Assembly constituency in Tamil Nadu is said to be the result of the DMK’s attempt to fan communal and class riots. The DMK is using his Telegu identity to launch a vitriolic attack on Vaiko because he is seen as a major threat to both DMK and AIADMK.
Race on for UPCC post
Ex Youth Congress leader in Uttar Pradesh, Fazle Masood and the erstwhile chief of Congress Seva Dal’s UP unit, Mani Shankar Pandey, a former MLA, are competing against each other to be selected as the UP Pradesh Congress Committee chief. The Congress is searching for either a Brahmin or a Muslim for the post. While Masood is organising Congress workers for his sadbhavna (goodwill) meetings, Pandey is organising Holi milans and other functions to galvanise the workers. Pandey belongs to Varanasi and is ex president of the Banaras Hindu University students’ union. Masood is the UPCC general secretary in charge of Varanasi district. It is now up to Prashant Kishor to recognise their talents and decide.
Doctor who speaks his mind
Dr Anoop Saraya, the senior most doctor in the gastroenterology department at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has a world view and is not scared to air them, unlike many other doctors who either do not know what is going on in the country or the world or keep silent because of personal constraints. Saraya, who is known to treat his patients with a smile, is a regular at Jantar Mantar protesting the atrocities done on Dalits and the poor. A much loved doctor, his patients even compare him with Jesus Christ.