That the North East, particularly Assam, would be on fire over the Citizenship Amendment Act, was expected. Ever since the amendment bill was being drafted, it was known to whosoever cared to know that North East would erupt. The reason partly, why it was not introduced before 2019 Lok Sabha. The level of anger though, was not expected. Among others, some BJP leaders now are talking about a ‘miscalculation’; why the bill was brought in without ‘enough spadework’. While no one quite dares to fault the all-powerful union minister for piloting the contentious bill this winter session, they are quick to blame the BJP pointsman in NE. Back in Guwahati, Himanta Biswa Sarma however is sitting pretty, watching his party rival CM Sarbanand Sonowal struggling to quell the protests. And Sarma’s CM ambitions are not really unknown.
Prashant Kishor may be creating twitter storm by openly asking his mentor Nitish Kumar to show some spine and spun the new Citizenship Act. But Kishor’s harangue, it seems, is springing out of his concern for his Bengal account. Kishor’s bonding with Mamata Banerjee so much that he’s virtually running the state. In short, ‘PK is the to-go-man in Mamata administration/TMC’. Not only is he telling Didi, what to say, when and how, he and his I-PAC is taking coaching classes of TMC MLAs. ‘Maintain sobreity’, is his latest diktat to them. But what’s bothering the state’s top bureaucracy, no files are moving without PK’s direction or feedback from the ground!
What about the GDP?
GDP is down a few notches, is a felt reality now. But how down is the down really? The median poll of economists put annual growth in GDP of 4.7 per cent in the quarter to September, down from 5.0 per cent in the previous three months. The RBI forcast: real GDP would recover from 5.0 per cent to 7.0 percent in the second quarter of 2020-21. High hopes, is what Subramamiam Swamy told his fellow parliamentarians. The Rajya Sabah MP who fashions hinself as the ultimate oracle, claimed GDP is no more than 1.5 per cent!
No dhariyam over Adhir
Is the Congress leader of Lok Sabha in trouble? If Rahul Gandhi indeed makes a come back as the Congress president, he might. The reason? TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee apparently been filing Rahul’s ears, quite loudly at that, against Adhir. Their demand, unless the Congress Bengal leader is not removed from the post, TMC will not cooperate with the Congress in the next Budget session. Banerjee told RG, in earshot of others that ‘Adhir is actually pro-BJP’. Well, there’s no denying that back in Bengal, Adhir is known as an old Mamata-baiter. He’s also Pranab Mukherjee’s blue-eyed boy.
The author is Resident Editor, Bangalore, TNIE. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org