Priyanka will be in UP
Priyanka Vadra is likely to make an appearance in Uttar Pradesh next week when Sanjay Singh, who heads the Congress’ state election campaign committee, launches the campaign. Sanjay Singh is said to have requested Priyanka to be present at the occasion on 29 July. Singh has been asking all office bearers of the party in UP to make the launch a success.
Diggy too ‘Muslim friendly’, asked to stay out of UP
Digvijaya Singh is unlikely to campaign in Uttar Pradesh, because Congress’ campaign committee chairman for UP, Sanjay Singh does not want him in the state. There is apprehension in the Congress that Digvijaya Singh, who has an extremely pro-Muslim image, will end up communalising the UP situation. Thus, the Congress strategy to woo the Brahmins and Rajputs will fall apart. It is local Rajput leaders such as Arun Kumar Singh Munna and Santosh Singh who are likely to be made a part of the campaign committee instead.
Needed, a UP Muslim for Congress
The Congress, which is busy wooing UP’s 10%-12% Brahmin community, is ignoring the Muslims, who have an 18%-20% presence in the state. Except for Imran Masood, the Congress does not have any Muslims in any of its committees set up for UP. Ghulam Nabi Azad is the general secretary in charge of UP, but he does not belong to the state. The Congress may now make Fazle Masood the chairman of the party’s minority department in UP. Masood’s name was being earlier considered for UPCC chief’s post.
Consolation prizes likely for Prasada, Singh, Pandey
Jitin Prasada, R.P.N. Singh and Mani Shankar Pandey, all of whom were in the race to become UP Pradesh Congress Committee chief, are feeling left out after Raj Babbar was selected for the post. In fact, Prasada, a Brahmin, was the front runner until the last moment. He lost out because he was considered too young and a non serious candidate. He, however, is likely to be accommodated in the AICC team of Rahul Gandhi. Mani Shankar Pandey is likely to be made the UP Seva Dal chief, while R.P.N. Singh may be given the charge of the UP communications department.
Vidarbha will be a poll issue
A separate Vidarbha is likely to be a major issue in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019. The BJP has already drawn out the map of a separate Vidarbha. After which, Congress’ Vidarbha leaders have raised the demand for a Vidarbha Congress Committee, similar to the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee. Recently, when Sonia Gandhi was in Nanded to unveil the statue of S.B. Chavan, the late father of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Ashok Chavan, she directed him to hold a meeting on the issue of Vidarbha. Chavan met the Vidarbha leaders on 15 July in Nagpur, where a one-line resolution was passed demanding the formation of a separate Vidarbha Congress Committee. Led by Vilas Muttemvyar, the Vidarbha leaders will be in New Delhi this week to meet Sonia Gandhi and put forth their demand to her.
Kalraj got saved
Union minister Kalraj Mishra, who is over 75 years old, was not asked to retire, unlike Najma Heptullah, because he is a Brahmin from Uttar Pradesh, a state which is about to hold its Assembly elections. At a time when the Congress is trying hard to woo the Brahmin community, the BJP could not take a risk by removing Mishra.
Sudip Bandopadhyay, the leader of the Trinamool Congress in the Lok Sabha is unhappy with fellow MP Kalyan Banerjee. Bandopadhyay, as the leader of his party, had directed Sugata Bose, a professor in history to speak on the Kashmir issue in Parliament. But when the turn of the Trinamool Congress came to address the Parliament, it was Banerjee who got up to speak and made a disaster of his speech.