Some old, some new: Rahul tries to strike right balance
Some people are of the opinion that Congress President Rahul Gandhi is more comfortable working with second-generation party leaders. He had vociferously defended dynastic politics when he was in the US, following which it was widely believed that he would continue this tradition of politics. This was also evident by the leaders he surrounded himself with. However, when Rahul made appointments after the ratification of his name in the party’s plenary session, it became clear that he was also pushing forward new and first-generation leaders.
Along with second-generation leaders, Rahul is also giving big responsibilities to leaders without a political lineage. Maharashtra MP Rajeev Satav has been made Gujarat in-charge by him. Satav is one of the two MPs who had won from Maharashtra on a Congress ticket. In the same manner, Lalji Desai, who was a social activist, has been given the responsibility of the Seva Dal. In Gujarat, Amit Chavda — who doesn’t hail from any political family — has been appointed as the party president. In the same manner, first-generation leader Paresh Dhanani has been made leader of the legislative group. He has further appointed Yashomati Thakur from Maharashtra and Chandan Yadav from Bihar as secretaries and has roped them in to help in-charges of Karnataka and Chhattisgarh. They are also first-generation leaders.
On one hand, Rahul is promoting the descendants of old leaders of the Congress, and on the other hand, he has also been promoting first-generation leaders, who don’t have any political background. He is also expected to follow the same formula when he forms the CWC.
POLITICS OF RESIGNATION
The Lok Sabha tenure remains for more than a year, but when the second phase of the Budget Session started on March 5, the Government pushed it into a lame duck mode. That means the Lok Sabha will run casually henceforth. The Opposition is now going to start the politics of resignation. When Rajiv Gandhi was the PM, the Opposition had pushed Parliament into temporary mode mid-way his tenure, and this Lok Sabha seems to be moving in the same direction.
The main Opposition party of Andhra Pradesh, the YSR Congress, has decided that its MPs will resign en masse. In fact, they were joining the TDP one by one, so their party decided to tell the remaining ones to resign. Some say these seats will remain vacant because the Election Commission would not go for bypolls in all likelihood. It is also being said that Chandrababu Naidu might instruct his MPs to resign to counter the move of the YSR Congress. It was the YSR Congress which had first put a no-confidence motion against the Government. After that, the TDP followed suit, albeit under compulsion, and the Congress and CPM also did the same.
PRESSURE POLITICS IN BIHAR
In Bihar, alliance partners of the BJP have started building pressure. Nitish Kumar’s JDU, Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP, and Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP might form an informal alliance to put pressure on the BJP at the time of ticket distribution. Barring Kushwaha, the remaining two parties have already started working towards this goal, given the increasing proximity between Nitish and Paswan.
In fact, Nitish had started efforts towards this last year when he had joined hands with the BJP for the second time. He didn’t chose a leader either from Kushwaha’s party or Jitan Ram Manjhi’s party, rather he chose Paswan’s brother, Pashupati Paras, and made him a minister. Interestingly, Paras was not even an MLA at that time. Later, he was sent to the Legislative Council by Nitish. The JDU chief continued his strategy and managed to make a dent into the Congress too by bringing Ashok Chaudhary and three MLCs into his party fold.
Earlier, Nitish had his eyes set only on Mahadalits, for which he tried to keep Paswan out of the picture. But now, he and Paswan are pursuing Dalit votes in toto. This is a fact that Nitish is the most popular face amongst the ultra-Dalit vote bank. Nitish and Paswan are aware of their strength and vote banks. Both are equally popular amongst the forward vote bank of the State. Recently, Nitish has taken Narendra Singh, a strong Thakur leader of Manjhi’s faction, into his party.
Since the BJP has almost finished the forward leadership in the State and established backward leadership, the forwards are said to be unhappy. This was evident in 2015 when the forwards had voted for the Congress and JDU despite the fact that Nitish was with Lalu Yadav at that time. So, if Nitish and Paswan form an informal alliance, its political scope will be bright. However, the BJP will try to keep the relationship with Nitish intact amidst all the pressure. If Nitish parts ways on the issue of seat-sharing, then the BJP will try for a triangular fight to avoid a 2015-like situation.
LEGAL EAGLES’ WOES
On one hand, the Congress is ensuring that all its lawyer leaders stay in Parliament, and on the other hand, the party is trying to keep them away from the court, which is worrying some of its leaders. Earlier, the Bar Council of India gave a proposal to stop the practice of advocates who are either MPs or MLAs. When it became clear that the proposal will not bear fruit, then some conditions were added. It was said that the MPs who would sign the proposal of impeachment of the Chief Justice will not be able to practice.
Almost all big advocates of the Congress are Rajya Sabha members, such as Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, P Chidambaram, Vivek Tankha, and Anand Sharma. This is quite evident that all of them will sign on the impeachment proposal for the CJI. And in that case, the condition of the Bar Council will apply to all of them and they will be barred from practice. This must be noted that they are fighting almost all cases of the Congress and other anti-BJP parties. When they will be barred from practicing, their cases will also weaken.
On the other hand, all advocate leaders of the BJP are ministers at the Centre and not in active practice, such as Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad. If the proposal of the Bar Council is implemented, then the advocate MPs of the Congress will not be able to practice till there is no decision on the impeachment proposal.
L-G’S REPORT CARD
The ruling party of Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has done many things that have never happened in the parliamentary history of the country. It has started many such initiatives, and the report card of the L-G being presented in the Delhi Assembly is one of them. Recently, the AAP Government brought out the Outcome Budget and elaborated on the completed works of the last Budget. When the AAP Government put forward the report card of the L-G, it elaborated on how many works the L-G had stopped mid-way.
Its leaders say that when the Government has to show its work before the Assembly, the record of works done by the L-G should also be presented. So, the AAP Government prepared a report card of the L-G and presented it before the Assembly. Both Opposition parties, the Congress and BJP, feel that this was done only to shift the focus from the failure of the AAP Government. Its motive can be questioned, but this will surely start a new tradition.
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