Read between the lines

The Asia Society in Mumbai organised a discussion around the book The Contenders: Who Will Lead India Tomorrow? with Praful Patel giving the keynote address. On the panel were Milind Deora, Jayant Chaudhary and Shaina NC. Interestingly, at the event, one of the first questions asked to Deora was whether he planned to contest from South Mumbai this time or not. This was in the backdrop of rumours that he may not contest due to tensions between him and Sanjay Nirupam, president of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee. However, Deora replied with a question of his own, asking the questioner that if he did contest would he vote for him. The answer was in the affirmative, which must have delighted Deora, as did Praful Patel’s comment that of course he would get the ticket. Clearly, some NCP-Congress bonhomie on display there!

Congress will focus on 25 seats in Uttar Pradesh

Since the Mahagathbandan has announced its seats, the Congress has shelved any hope that it had of being included in the alliance, in a post Priyanka Gandhi Vadra scenario. However, Congress sources say that the party has decided to focus on 25 “winnable seats”, though it would be fielding candidates in all 80 seats. And the party seems hopeful of bettering its score, though some would say that with the current score of 2 (Amethi and Rae Bareli), the only way is up.

Scindia for U.P. CM face?

Is Jyotiraditya Scindia tipped to be the CM face for Uttar Pradesh? There is some speculation about his lateral shift to the state and one reason being given is that just as Sheila Dikshit was brought in from Lucknow to Delhi, so could another successful transplant take place in the heartland. However, the BJP has an answer ready, pointing out that it had already tried this experiment by exporting Uma Bharati, the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister to UP in 2007, and failed. However, for now, Congress leaders are not confirming anything, not even the fact as to whether Scindia would contest the next Lok Sabha elections from Guna or focus all his energies on his new job as General Secretary Western UP.

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