Priyanka will campaign in UP
The Congress has decided to field Priyanka Vadra in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the Assembly elections next year. This is because of ground reports that Rahul Gandhi’s yatras in the state did not have any impact. For the first time, Priyanka officially attended and chaired the review meeting of the UP Pradesh Congress Committee this week. Rahul was in Delhi but did not attend the meeting. Priyanka has been attending Congress meetings unofficially, but this was different. She asked every PCC member to air their views. The general opinion was that unless there was some sort of an alliance, the party was unlikely to get more than 50 seats in UP. The meeting was attended by eight vice presidents and eight secretaries of the UP PCC, apart from Ghulam Nabi Azad, Raj Babbar, Sheila Diksit, Sanjay Singh and Pramod Tiwari.
Mulayam plans Grand Alliance
Mulayam Singh Yadav is planning a Bihar like “Grand Alliance” in Uttar Pradesh. For this purpose, he has reached out to Ajit Singh of the Rashtriya Lok Dal, reminding the Jat leader of his association with the latter’s father, Charan Singh. On Wednesday evening, Shivpal Yadav called on JDU leader K.C. Tyagi and Sharad Yadav to invite them and Nitish Kumar for the Samajwadi Party’s 25th anniversary function on 5 November. Shivpal has invited all parties with roots in the socialist party founded by Ram Manohar Lohia. Ajit Singh is an invitee, as well as Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal. Mulayam Yadav hopes that this show of strength will help keep his support base of Muslims and Yadavs intact. And now Akhilesh Yadav will talk to the Congress on an alliance.
Amar wants to be SP leader in Rajya Sabha
Amar Singh is lobbying to become the leader of the Samajwadi Party in the Rajya Sabha, now that his adversary Ramgopal Yadav has been expelled from the party. Ramgopal Yadav first opposed Amar Singh’s return to the party and then his nomination to the Rajya Sabha. After he failed on both counts, as the SP’s leader in the Upper House, he stopped Amar Singh from speaking there.
Will Rita be BJP’s CM face in UP?
Rita Bahuguna Joshi, a Brahmin, who joined the BJP last week, might even be the party’s face in Uttar Pradesh, to counter Congress’ Brahmin chief ministerial candidate Sheila Dikshit. Bahuguna Joshi was upset with the Congress for projecting Sheila Dikshit as its CM candidate and also with the importance given to Pramod Tiwari, who has been her bête noire in Allahabad politics. Bahuguna Joshi’s initial plan was to join the Samajwadi Party, but the SP was not willing to give her the Lucknow Cantonment seat, which she represents. That seat has gone to Mulayam Singh Yadav’s second daughter-in-law, Prateek Yadav’s wife Aparna. Bahuguna Joshi’s brother, Vijay Bahuguna is already with the BJP, which helped her make up her mind. The BJP too agreed to her once it sensed that the Brahmin vote in UP was slipping from its hands.
Sidhu has nowhere to go