Congress to ally with RLD
With the Election Commission announcing the dates of the Assembly elections in five states, the Congress is not left with any option but to finalise its strategy. It may go for an alliance with Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal even before it strikes an alliance with the Samajwadi Party. Western Uttar Pradesh, where the Congress is not strong, but the RLD has some base, will go for elections first. Ajit Singh has already joined hands with JD(U) and has been holding successful rallies in western UP. The Congress after joining hands with the RLD hopes to work for an alliance with the Akhilesh Yadav group in the Samajwadi Party.
Uncertainty over SP-Cong alliance
There is uncertainty over Congress’ alliance with Akhilesh Yadav. Since the majority of SP MLAs have now joined hands with Akhilesh, he will have to accommodate them and may not have many seats to spare for the Congress or for the Rashtriya Lok Dal. However, Sheila Dikshit will not contest the Uttar Pradesh elections even if Congress retains her as the Chief Ministerial candidate of the party for want of alliance. She has conveyed her decision to the party high command.
Azam Khan stumped
Azam Khan, the Muslim face of the Samajwadi Party, is disillusioned with the state of affairs in his party. He does not have any option but to sit at home, without siding with either father or son in the Yadav family feud. He is equally close to Mulayam and Akhilesh Yadav. He can sense Muslim votes slipping out of the SP’s hands, but is helpless. He cannot even join the BSP or Congress because he is completely loyal to Mulayam. Although worried that Amar Singh is dragging the SP chief towards the BJP, he is, however, trying for a rapprochement between father and son. On Thursday, he and Akhilesh were going to the airport to receive Mulayam, but returned after learning Amar Singh and Jaya Prada were accompanying the SP chief.
‘SP got feud advice’
The Samajwadi Party is supposed to have hired a Harvard University professor and political strategist, Steve Jarding. A leaked email, allegedly written by Jarding, talks of orchestrating a “family feud scenario” in the Samajwadi family, as an image building exercise for Akhilesh Yadav.
The name is Jaya
Jayalalithaa may be dead and gone but her name continues to live on. Recently, when a couple came to Poes Garden with their newborn girl, Sasikala named her Jayalalithaa. Thus, she was following in Jaya’s footsteps. Whenever requested to name a baby boy, Amma would always pick Ramachandran, after her late mentor, M.G. Ramachandran.
Ban on paid news
The Election Commission has said that action will be taken against all those newspapers and TV channels that carry paid news. The EC has even put a ban on mobile messages by parties as that will be considered as advertisement.