Not a Good Sign
Chhatrapati Sambhajiraje from Kolhapur, who was appointed to Rajya Sabha by the BJP last year, was seen with NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Pune recently. Sambhajiraje had contested the 2009 parliamentary elections as an NCP candidate, but drifted away from the party after his defeat. Pawar’s taunt, “Chhatrapati appointed by Fadnavis”, widened the rift.
Sambhajiraje’s closeness with Pawar at the event raised many eyebrows. He had helped defuse the Maratha agitation last year. His cosying up with Pawar ahead of the agitation’s revival is not a good sign for the state government.
Setting a ‘World Record’
Congress MLA and Narayan Rane’s son Nitesh showed his sense of humour by writing to the director of Guinness Book of World Records urging him to include Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray’s repeated threats to pull out of the state government as a world record. Reports of Narayan joining the BJP during party president Amit Shah’s Mumbai visit were also in circulation when Nitesh sent the letter. A Shiv Sena spokesperson quipped, “Reports on Narayan joining the BJP can also have a place in the Guinness Book of World Records with Uddhav’s threats to pull out of the government.”
Oops, Azam Does it Again
Azam Khan is known for hogging the limelight with his controversial comments. This time the Samajwadi Party strongman from Rampur tried to stir a hornet’s nest by belling the cow. The firebrand leader alleged that the Central government is airlifting cows to the Gulf for slaughter, a fact which only Khan is aware of. He exhorted the authorities to hand over the animals to butchers in India instead of spending so much on their transportation. He also challenged gua rakshaks to come to ‘gau matas’ rescue.
BJP Looking for its UP Chief
Even after three months of assuming power in UP, BJP hasn’t found anyone to head its state unit, a task Deputy CM Keshav Maurya is handling. The buzz is that Barabanki MP Priyanka Rawat is the frontrunner in the race for the post. BJP wants to replace Maurya with an equally efficient backward leader who can keep the OBC and Dalit votebank intact for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Rawat, close to BJP president Amit Shah, is known for her firebrand and no-nonsense image. However, other leaders such as Ashok Kataria, a backward face who played a prominent role in devising BJP’s Assembly elections campaign, is also being considered.
Raman Does an Amit Shah in Mamata’s Bengal
CM Raman Singh left for West Bengal on a two-day visit on Friday to spell out BJP’s good governance and provide impetus to the party’s mass contact programme. Singh, like his party president Amit Shah, lunched with a Dalit family in Habibpur village in Medinipur district. In April, Shah visted Naxalbari where Dalit couple hosted lunch. Singh will participate in events organised by the saffron party in Medinipur. He inaugurated MODI Fest (Making of Developed India Festival), addressed a public rally and shared the accomplishments of the NDA government, and the BJP’s 13-year “good governance” rule in Chhattisgarh.
Pappu Paas Ho Gaya
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi recently gave a tough time to the Madhya Pradesh Police before he was arrested while trying to proceed to violence hit Mandsaur district through the Rajasthan border. However, the plain speak of the Amethi MP made some senior cops appreciate his persona. After the brush with rahul, a senior police officer quipped to his colleagues and superiors, “I’ve decided
to back Rahul Gandhi at the hustings next time. For me, Pappu paas
Battle in the BJP
State Agriculture Minister Gaurishankar Bisen is turning out to be a regular embarrassment for the ruling BJP. He sang the Hindutva mantra at a recent agriculture fair instead of detailing farmers about the government’s initiatives in agriculture. He then triggered a controversy by opposing the farm loan waiver at the peak of the violent farmers agitation. And if that was wasn’t all, he got into a verbal battle with party MP from Balaghat, in which both got abusive on the dias at a public programme in Balaghat.
(With inputs from Abhijit Mulye, Namita Bajpai, Ejaz Kaiser and Anuraag Singh)