The Captain throws a party

Finally, Captain Amarinder Singh has floated his own party in time for the Punjab polls. Although he has not stated it explicitly, everyone knows that this is with the implicit backing of the BJP. In fact, in the last few weeks, the Captain has been photographed in the company of senior BJP leaders, Amit Shah as well as Ajit Doval. It is also understood that the rank and file of his party will be turncoats from the Congress, especially those who will be denied a ticket for the coming polls. In addition, post polls one can expect a sort of tie up with the Akali Dal, for while the Badals are not keen on doing business with Narendra Modi’s BJP, they may not be averse to a tie up with the Captain. But the Captain still needs a winning card, and the buzz is that this could come in the way of him finding a solution to end the farmers’ agitation—an agitation, which, if sources are to be believed, had been propped up by him in the first place. If the Captain can find a face-saving way out for both the farmers and the Central government then he would earn the PM’s gratitude (and with it a Cabinet berth at the Centre post the Punjab polls?). For sources also tell us that the PM is not very happy with the prolonged farmers’ protests and has rebuked his bureaucrats who had assured him that the protests would soon blow away. So, watch this space.

The Crypto Ally

Former Union Minister and Congress leader, P. Chidambaram recently coined an interesting phrase when he referred to Jagan Reddy as a crypto ally of the BJP. While speaking to the media after the bypoll results, he pointed out that of the 30 Assembly seats the BJP won seven, while its declared allies won eight. The Congress won eight seats, while seven others were won by the non BJP camp and Chidambaram added, of these one was won by a crypto ally of the BJP, the YSR Congress. While crypto currency is the current rage in financial circles, Chidambaram was also referring to the fact that in his opinion, the YSR Congress is a “secret or concealed” ally of the BJP.

Missing G.S. Bali

Congress leader G.S. Bali’s untimely demise has undoubtedly left a vacuum in the Himachal Congress at a time when the party is on an upswing in the state. In fact, after ex Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh (who also passed away recently) it was expected that the four-term former legislator from the state would fill the leadership gap. Though only 67 years old, G.S. Bali had been battling a prolonged illness for a while now and the leader from Kangra did not make it in the end. It’s ironic that at a time when the party is reviving in the state, its local leadership lacks a prominent face.