Passing The Mantle
Sharad Yadav’s last move to bequeath legacy
Sharad Yadav’s son Shantanu will bury a part of the deceased leader’s mortal remains at his karmabhoomi Madhepura. This is in keeping with the wishes of his father. He had told his family not to immerse his ashes in a river as it would pollute its waters. He had asked them to bury part of his remains at his family home in Babai in Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh and part in Madhepura, which he represented in Parliament. The leader’s remains will be taken from Patna to Madhepura in a huge cavalcade which will leave the state capital on February 4. Shantanu is part of the RJD and is considered close to its leader Tejashwi Yadav. The entire RJD apparatus has been pressed into action to make the 200-odd km yatra a success. Shantanu was given the surname Bundela by his father. But he plans to change it to Yadav and contest the next Lok Sabha election from his father’s constituency. His sister Subhasini too had changed her surname before contesting the assembly election as a Congress candidate from the Biharganj assembly constituency in Madhepura.
Budget will balance populism & fiscal prudence
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Narendra Modi government’s last budget on Wednesday before it goes into the next general election. Governments usually tend to go populist in their last Budgets by loosening their purse strings to woo the voters with sops. Sources, however, said that the Prime Minister has asked Sitharaman not to allow politics to get the better of economics. The finance minister, therefore, is not likely to play Santa. There may be minor tax relief for the middle class. The focus of the Budget, sources said, will be to boost to the green economy and overall growth. For this, the capital expenditure may see a hike with the government allocating more funds for creating infrastructure. The private sector investment is yet to pick up post-Covid. Government capex will, therefore, help boost growth and create jobs which will be another plus in the pre-election budget. The Prime Minister’s commitment to producing 50% energy from renewable sources by 2030 and India’s long-term net zero emission goals will see more incentives flowing for the green energy sector. The Budget will reflect the Prime Minister’s confidence in winning another term in office.
Splintered oppn to spoil Rahul’s yatra finale
Rahul Gandhi’s 146-day-long Kanyakumari-to-Kashmir Bharat Jodo Yatra covering 75 districts and fourteen states concludes on Monday with a big show of opposition unity. Leaders of 12 opposition parties are expected to attend the grand finale at Srinagar. Among the parties that would join the concluding day function will be DMK, NCP, RJD, JD(U), Shiv Sena, CPI(M), CPI, JMM, NC and PDP. The prominent absentees would be Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, AAP, TDP, BSP and BRS. Asked why only 12 out of 21 parties invited to the function are attending, a senior Congress leader said they have their compulsions. He said the Prime Minister has roped in some of them as part of his Plan B post-2024 poll. According to this prominent Congress leader, there are at least four major opposition parties that may either vote in favour or abstain to help Modi return as PM in case BJP falls short of the majority mark in the next Lok Sabha election. The fissures in the opposition are deep. But the end of the yatra will see an attempt to bring the opposition parties together. Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav had met Sonia Gandhi to discuss the larger unity of opposition parties. Sonia asked them to wait until the end of Rahul’s yatra. It remains to be seen if the opposition can bury its differences and come together on one