MILIND DEORA SPEAKS
The Congress candidate from South Mumbai, Milind Deora has got himself a catchy slogan: “Mumbai Ka Connection”. Speaking to NewsX, he pointed out that he was the connection bringing diverse sections of Mumbai together as his constituency hosts India’s richest as well as those living in the slums. Well after Mukesh Ambani’s and Uday Kotak’s endorsement, he certainly seems to have won half the battle. But he also made an interesting point while talking about election “waves”. According to him, the problem with a wave is that just about anyone gets elected regardless of their track record and individual abilities. “In a wave the candidate is just a rubber stamp or a number.” Having been a casualty of the Narendra Modi wave, Milind is leaving no stones unturned to appeal to the voters to choose an MP who understands South Mumbai and will raise its concerns in Parliament. He is standing against the Shiv Sena’s sitting MP Arvind Sawant. May the best candidate win!
PRIYANKA FROM VARANASI?
Will Priyanka Gandhi Vadra stand against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi? A lot of hype is being created around that one, with her brother and Congress president adding to the suspense by not giving a direct answer. Certainly a high profile fight like that would energise the party workers and get the headlines, but unless she can work a miracle within less than a month, it would be a fight for the optics at best. Priyanka is no Smriti Irani—a star campaigner used for high profile battles, but largely depending on the largesse of the high command for survival. She has a much larger role to play and there is a section of the Congress that agrees, stating that tying her down to one constituency so early in her political career would be a mistake. But in the end, as Priyanka herself said, the decision is Rahul’s to make.
TOGETHER, BUT NOT QUITE
The joint rally between Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav in the latter’s stronghold was not so much to sway the constituency, Mainpuri, as it was to send a larger message across the state. Mulayam had represented Mainpuri for the last 15 years and is in no danger of losing his seat. But there is a feeling that the Samajwadi Party vote is not being transferred to the Bahujan Samaj Party in the Gathbandan. It was to nail this rumour, that they claim is being floated by the BSP, the background of the rally was in blue (BSP colours), while the crowd wore red (red caps are the SP’s symbol). Mulayam shared the stage and stuck to the script, i.e. he did not repeat his earlier desire that Modi should come back as Prime Minister. Yet, there are those who claim that the veteran leader’s heart is not in this alliance and he has told his people that “38 mein Laal, baaki mein Shivpal (vote for my son in the 38 seats that are in the SP’s quota in the alliance and as for the rest, which are in the BSP and RLD’s quota, vote for my brother Shivpal)”. Oh dear!