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Rahul Gandhi all set to take charge before Gujarat polls

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Rahul Gandhi all set to take charge before Gujarat polls

This is almost decided by now that Rahul Gandhi will take charge of his party before the Gujarat elections. The Congress leaders, who were advocating deferment of Rahul’s anointment till Gujarat and Himachal elections, have failed in their mission. In fact, those leaders were arguing that if the Congress faces defeat in these two States, Rahul’s leadership would be in question, hence it would be better to promote him after the election results. These leaders had also argued that after Gujarat and Himachal, elections are scheduled in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland, and Karnataka would go into elections in May, and the Congress could do better in these four States.

However, the leaders who want to see Rahul as the party president before Gujarat elections argue that he would be held accountable for poll results even as party vice-president. He is the one taking all decisions and looking after campaigning also. Sonia Gandhi is also participating in the poll preparations of these two States. The Congress has deliberately created the fight in Gujarat as Narendra Modi vs Rahul. In this scenario, it doesn’t matter whether Rahul is party president or not. So, Sonia has been advised either to announce her heir — there is a provision for this in the party constitution — or to hold the CWC meeting for the announcement of elections.

Announcement of Rahul’s name will not be delayed further as the Election Commission has set December as the deadline for election of a new party president. If the Congress waits till December 18, ie the day of results, then it will have to wait for one more month as there will be no auspicious work from December 14 to January 14 in view of Malmas, according to Hindu traditions. That is why some say that the name of Rahul could be announced on November 19, also Indira Gandhi’s birth centenary.

FIGHT FOR RS BEGINS IN AAP

There are three Rajya Sabha seats from Delhi and a fight over these has started in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). This is the first time when senior member of the party, Kumar Vishwas, has said that there is an attempt to block his path to the Rajya Sabha. He also raised questions over the termination of suspension of MLA Amanatullah Khan, who had called him an RSS agent, and has said that Khan is only a mask and the real conspirator is someone else.

The meeting of the AAP National Council was scheduled for November 2, where this issue was expected to be discussed. Supporters of Kumar Vishwas say that Arvind Kejriwal had promised a Rajya Sabha seat to him. Kumar Vishwas’ statement also indicated the same. Now the question is does Kejriwal still want to send him to the Rajya Sabha? The re-entry of Khan and the statement of Kumar Vishwas are indicative of Kejriwal’s changed mood.

Elections for three seats of the Rajya Sabha from Delhi will be held after two months. Since elections are conducted separately for all three seats, they usually go to the party which is in power. So, the seats which belonged to the Congress will go to the AAP. Kejriwal has to ensure a balance between Vaishyas, Brahmins, Thakurs, Dalits, OBCs, and women amongst these three seats because the AAP has no mass base in other States like other parties. The AAP will get one seat in Punjab, but there is no election next year.

The four big leaders of AAP — Sanjay Singh, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh Gupta, and Pankaj Gupta — are the main contenders of the Rajya Sabha. But of these, only two might get the Rajya Sabha seats. So, this is obvious that all of them are working against each other. The decision over this will be a big challenge for Kejriwal. There is a possibility that the episode of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan might be repeated.

ALL IS NOT WELL IN BIHAR

Many old veterans of the JDU are said to be unhappy. Shyam Rajak, who was once very close to Lalu Prasad Yadav, is the recent example. He had not got any post in the JDU-RJD Government and has not got anything in the current Government as well. He had been very close to Nitish Kumar when he had joined the JDU and was the face of the party’s Mahadalit politics.

Meanwhile, the RJD leader and former Deputy CM, Tejaswi, has said that the Nitish Government would collapse within six months. Though this is also true that apparently Nitish Government is out of the danger zone. But some are attempting to find the political connotation of Shyam Rajak’s rebellious mood and Tejaswi’s statement. The Congress was at the verge of breaking away, but it didn’t and the reason is probably that all is not well in the JDU.

Sources say that the JDU’s Dalit leaders are also unhappy over the growing proximity between former BPCC chief Ashok Chaudhary and Nitish. In fact, for the past few months, Nitish has been trying to establish his own Dalit and Mahadalit equation and there was a lot of scope for outsiders in this. He made Ramvilas Paswan’s brother his minister and then sent him to the Legislative Council. He has also got close to Ashok Chaudhary and resolved old grudges with Jitan Ram Manjhi.

THE BATTLEFIELD OF GUJARAT

In Gujarat, around a dozen CMs and Central Ministers will be roped in for campaigning apart from the Prime Minister and Amit Shah. The CMs of all the BJP-ruled States have been told to campaign in Gujarat. The CM of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, has already started campaigning in the State. It is also being said that Nitish will be sent to Gujarat. There is a possibility that he would field his candidates on one or two seats and then go there to woo the voters for the BJP.

To counter the plan of the BJP, the Opposition will also rope in the CMs and former CMs along with Rahul and other big leaders of the party. Probably, Mamata Banerjee will also be a part of this. She has not fielded any candidate and she will not seek votes for the Congress, but she will address rallies against the GST in Gujarat.

Kejriwal will also go to Gujarat for campaigning, and his party will fight on selected seats. This is obvious that he will attack the Central and State Government. Siddharamaiah, Capt Amarinder Singh and Virbhadra Singh will also go to Gujarat for campaigning. 

Meanwhile, all eyes are on UP’s former CM Akhilesh Yadav. Probably, he will also go to campaign for the Congress. The BSP supremo Mayawati is also headed to the State for the same purpose, though it has not been decided whether her party will fight election or not. There is speculation that Lalu will also go there despite the legal battles he is currently stuck in. Many Congress leaders feel that if Lalu goes to Gujarat, the BJP will make corruption an issue.

 
 
 
 
 

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