Challenges before Yechury
Sitaram Yechury has been elected as the CPM General Secretary, and to some extent, he has moulded the political line of the party according to his ideologies. However, he will face great challenges over the next three years, especially at the time of devising the strategy for the Lok Sabha Elections. The reason being that the Prakash Karat faction is still in majority — right from the Politburo, to the central committee of the party. Some leaders divulge that Yechury has clinched the top party post with a lot of difficulty and the party line has also been decided after crossing many hurdles.
On the very first day, the Karat faction didn’t let Yechury present his proposal. After that, Yechury proposed polling by secret ballot. Karat’s faction opposed the proposal, saying there was no such provision in the constitution of the party. However, that gave a message to the Karat faction and they became ready to change a sentence in the proposal. Earlier, it was stated that there will be no alliance with the Congress at any cost, but later, that was changed. It was added that the party would try to unite all the secular parties and might go for seat adjustment with the Congress.
Soon, another problem crept in over the creation of a central committee. This time, 19 new people have been included in the central committee and 10 are from the Karat faction. There are 17 people in the Politburo, and 10 belong to Karat’s faction. So, at both the places, Karat is bound to dominate, putting Yechury in a tight spot.
Debate over the Dalit issue is raging in the entire country, but what stands out is the fact that there is not even a single Dalit leader in the CPM Politburo. There are two women and two minority members in the apex body of the CPM, which is most vocal on the Dalit issue.
When PM Narendra Modi returned from the tour of five countries, a meeting of the Cabinet was held and two ordinances were promulgated. One ordinance was to change the POCSO Act and the other was to confiscate the property of fugitive economic offenders. Both ordinances have now got the President’s green signal and a notification has also been issued.
There is no doubt that these issues are important and sensitive. But Dalit organisations are now pointing out that even though Central Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had said in a press conference that the Government would bring in an ordinance on the SC/ST Act to change the stand of the Supreme Court, no further development has taken place. The Dalit organisations say the Government only filed the review petition and is waiting for the verdict. Now, many Dalit leaders are raising questions on the BJP Government’s proposal to include around one and a half dozen Economically Backward Classes (EBCs) into the SC category.
Will the MP from Patna Sahib, Shatrughan Sinha, fight on an RJD ticket? The picture seems clear after he praised Tejashwi Yadav during the Rashtra Manch function in Patna. After that, many people have accepted that Shatrughan Sinha is now with the RJD and will be fighting the Lok Sabha Elections on an RJD ticket.
If discussions going on in Patna are to be believed, then it is also possible that Sinha would fight as a Rashtra Manch candidate with the help of the RJD and Congress. There is another possibility — he could be an AAP candidate, and the RJD along with the Congress might support him. This could be deduced from the presence of Ashutosh and Sanjay Singh in Patna.
Then there are some who say Sinha might rope in his wife Poonam to fight the LS polls this time, but this will be possible only when the RJD agrees to send him to the Rajya Sabha. Probably, he wants the Rajya Sabha seat for himself and the Lok Sabha ticket from Patna Sahib for his wife.
The RJD leaders are not in a position to make any promises as they cannot be sure about the scenario in the State Assembly until the next Rajya Sabha elections, which are scheduled in March 2020. If the same Assembly continues, then the RJD will get two Rajya Sabha seats, and in that case, it could spare a seat for Sinha. If the Assembly Elections are held before schedule, then the decision will depend on the results.
SHOW OF STRENGTH
In Jharkhand, the Congress and JMM are together, and Babulal Marandi’s party, JVM, is also with them. In the Rajya Sabha elections, the three parties had voted for the Congress candidate, Dheeraj Sahu. But in the local body elections, all three showed their own strength. All three fielded their own candidates on almost all seats just to increase their strength of negotiation at the time of the Assembly Elections.
When the Congress, JMM, and JVM fought separately, the BJP benefitted heavily, winning the elections of Mayor and Deputy Mayor in five municipal corporations. If the three parties had fought together, they could have defeated the BJP in all five cities. But it was not to be. They had to show their strength and their motive was not to defeat the BJP in this election. They were of the view that if the BJP was defeated, people’s anger would subside and the party would benefit in the Lok Sabha and Assembly Elections. So, as per strategy, the Opposition parties let the BJP win, some claim. But this is also a fact that in the show of strength, Marandi’s party, the JVM, was reduced to zero; its candidates didn’t fare well anywhere. The party only ended up reducing its power of negotiation after contesting the elections.
On the other hand, the Congress did well in comparison to the JMM and increased its strength of negotiation. Now, there is speculation that there will be tension between the JMM and Congress at the time of the Assembly and LS Elections.
SCINDIA’S WOES MULTIPLY
There seems to be no end to the problems of Jyotiraditya Scindia in Madhya Pradesh. Digvijaya Singh was not active in MP politics for almost 10 years, allowing Jyotiraditya to make big strides and become a high-profile leader of the State. When Digvijaya embarked on a six-month-long Narmada Yatra, Jyotiraditya and his supporters tried with all their might that the Scindia scion is made the CM candidate. However, Kamal Nath and the Brahmin leaders of the party put hurdles in his way.
Now, Digvijaya is back from the Narmada Parikrama and his stature has gone up. He reconnected with his own people in the State and revived old connections. With this religious yatra, he also managed to change his “pro-Muslim image”. So, now he has become a bigger challenge for Scindia. Many feel when Digvijaya on the yatra, there was some hope for Scindia, but now things aren’t looking up for him.
Digvijaya has now announced his support for his old friend Kamal Nath. That is why people are saying that Kamal Nath could be given the command of the party in the State. This has become almost certain that the party would not announce any CM candidate. But if Kamal Nath is made the party president in Madhya Pradesh, then the message will be clear that he would become the CM if the party wins. And Digvijaya, it seems, wants the same.
POLITICS OF KAPIL SIBAL
These days, Kapil Sibal’s politics is the talk of the town. All of a sudden, he has become hyperactive. It is being said that the impeachment proposal against the CJI was his idea and he had motivated his party for this. While Ghulam Nabi Azad supported him, advocate leaders, such as P Chidambaram and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, did not. However, Sibal has cautiously sidelined both of them, pushing them to the margins for now.
This is how he is said to have achieved this: About Singhvi, Sibal spread the word that he is the TMC’s man, and since Mamata Banerjee is not in favour of impeachment, Singhvi was opposing the proposal. In this manner, he proved that Singhvi was closer to the TMC than the Congress. Sibal is also said to have raised the issue of the umpteen cases against Chidambaram. Indirectly hinting at Chidambaram, he said that leaders who are stuck in various cases would be kept away from the impeachment process.
Before this, Sibal’s politics has been debated many times. Some time ago, it was being said that Sibal would form a new party and try to bring all those leaders on board who had left the Congress. But for now, all such discussions have come to a halt.
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14 Aug 2018 | PNS | BHUBANESWAR
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