New Kids on BJP’s Block
As the session of Parliament starts, it would be interesting to see Jyotiradiya Scindia in the Rajya Sabha take on his erstwhile colleagues from the Congress. Equally interesting would be to see how the BJP positions Zafar Islam, who was also recently made a Rajya Sabha member. Zafar is a former banker and was in fact seen with Scindia when the latter was negotiating his entry into the BJP. Will he now cut into Scindia’s airtime or will the two work in tandem?
No BJP Reshuffle for Now
Even though the Congress has carried out its reshuffle, BJP chief J.P. Nadda still has to shuffle his pack. One reason could be the “shradh” that is on right before Parliament session. Another could be the oncoming Bihar elections, though one is not quite sure as to what impact these would have on either party since there is no stalwart from Bihar who needs to be accommodated or downsized. Interestingly, the Madhya Pradesh bypolls that were to be held to re-elect those Congress leaders who had defected to the BJP along with Scindia seem to have been delayed to coincide with the Bihar polls. This has only increased the angst amongst Scindia’s supporters, some of whom have become ministers in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan Cabinet and need to be re-elected sooner than later.
Bengal’s Hot Potato
Congress leaders are a bit confused at the elevation of Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury as the party’s PCC chief in West Bengal, for he is a known Mamata baiter. This is perplexing especially after the recent coordination between Mamata Banerjee and Sonia Gandhi during a meeting called by the latter to chalk out the Opposition strategy against the Government. Chowdhury however has been known to attack Mamata as aggressively in the state, recently targeting her handling of the West Bengal cyclone. In fact state Congress leaders claim it is the TMC and not so much the BJP that is the target of his attacks in Bengal. Chowdhury has a good equation with the Left, which makes one wonder if Rahul got some of his organisational tips from his favourite comrade, Sitaram Yechury. All in all, it makes Jitin Prasada’s task as the newly appointed in-charge of this state all the more difficult. Prasada will need all his dad’s famed political acumen to make peace between the two hot-headed state leaders.