‘Modi in Mundu’

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is also referred to as “Modi in a Mundu” because of his strong, autocratic ways and larger than life personality. In fact in Kerala the election narrative revolves as much around the personality of the CM as it does about issues (not unlike what happens in the national elections with PM Modi). Meanwhile, M.K. Stalin, the DMK’s CM face has also undergone an image makeover under Prashant Kishor’s tutelage. He was earlier referred to as Tamil Nadu’s “Pappu” by his critics for his gaffes and habit of reading out slips of paper during his public speeches. Of late, he has become more people friendly, more confident and is trying to give the campaign a personalised stamp.

Congress Civil War

What if the Congress fails to make a dent in Kerala and is unable to wrest Assam from the BJP? What impact would this have on the inner party elections that are due post the Assembly polls? While sources within the G-23 claim that this would only legitimise their stand and lead to a change in leadership, others disagree. Congress watchers say a loss would only make the party workers talk of Congress unity and rush back to the Gandhis. For, as one of the panellists on NewsX roundtable quipped, the Gandhis are like the Pakistan army; they become stronger with every defeat.

Feeling left out?

Congress veteran Salman Khurshid seemed a bit perplexed as to why he has not been approached by the G-23, or even by the BJP, Trinamool Congress or any other political party. Speaking at Arth—A Cultural Festival, Khurshid, who served as External Affairs Minister said, “There must be something wrong with me. Why nobody ever approaches me.” Khurshid was in conversation with author-journalist Rasheed Kidwai. During the conversation, the former minister also recalled how he had lost the 1996 Lok Sabha elections because he and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had appeared on the cover of a prominent magazine for representing India’s stand on Kashmir at Geneva. Later Vajpayee had quipped that he went on to become Prime minister on an issue that made Khurshid lose the Farrukhabad seat.