Man for All CMs
Navneet Sehgal is back in the saddle again. In a major administrative reshuffle last week he got his old job back as head of the Information Department in Uttar Pradesh, as the incumbent Avanish Awasthi was transferred out. This is a job that Navneet has handled with great finesse both during the tenures of Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav. In fact, Sehgal’s connect with both the state and the national media would be a great asset for the UP Chief Minister. In fact that is any bureaucrat’s hallmark, to make sure he is indispensable to any Chief Minister regardless of which party he or she is from!
Well the first round of reshuffle is over, but the BJP chief still has to reconstitute his parliamentary board, and more importantly, there is a buzz that the Prime Minister may reshuffle his Cabinet. But from all accounts he is going to wait till after the Bihar elections before doing the needful. And this is something that would worry the Congress leader turned BJP member, Jyotiraditya Scindia for he is yet to get his promised ministry. Now it seems as if the Madhya Pradesh bypolls that are also slated to be held along with the Bihar polls will have a bearing on the kind of portfolio he will get. It’s a worry because not just his old bête-noir Kamal Nath is working hard to ensure his candidates don’t retain their seats in the bypolls, but also there is danger from within as many in the BJP are not happy to be conceding their seats for a bunch of Congress leaders who have crossed over with Scindia. Already the Congress is busy circulating videos of cries of Scindia-Murdabadad (anti Scindia slogans) that greet the leader during his campaign trail. Whether these are genuine or choreographed is something the election results will show.
Priyanka vs Yogi
Whether it was the issue of buses for migrant workers, agitation against the CAA or now the Hathras rape horror, the protest against the Yogi government is being led not by the SP or the BSP but interestingly by the Congress and more specifically by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. This has led to the speculation that in the coming Assembly elections (2022), the Congress will probably field Priyanka as its CM face. Certainly she has been on the ground consistently, unlike either Akhilesh Yadav or even Rahul Gandhi (as for Mayawati, she doesn’t do street agitations). But does the Congress have enough on-ground presence to back her claims?