Congress mulls change of guard in many States
Rahul Gandhi is expected to appoint new party presidents in various States. Sources in the Congress say many names had been finalised even before the 84th plenary session of the party, and an announcement can be made any time. The leaders of the party say that the first announcement will be for Uttar Pradesh.
Sources say Rahul is expected to give the command of the State to his close aide, Jitin Prasada. In fact, for some time now, the Congress is trying to establish Brahmin politics in the State. The party feels that Brahmins are not happy with the BJP and can be lured towards them. Though the BSP supremo Mayawati is also playing Brahmin politics, the Congress is ready to take a big leap with Prasada.
Apart from UP, a new party president will be appointed in Gujarat also. Amar Singh Solanki had resigned from the post, and is going to the US for a few months. But the real reason could be that he was unhappy upon not getting a Rajya Sabha ticket. However, this is still not clear as to who will replace him. Many people believe it will be Shaktisinh Gohil, but he might be staying with Rahul's team in Delhi. In three more States, the Congress will soon appoint new party presidents. Akhilesh Singh can be given the command in Bihar, Jyotiraditya Scindia can be given the charge of Madhya Pradesh, while Bhupinder Singh Hooda might be given the party reins in Haryana. If these three are not appointed, then people close to them will be given a chance.
BYPOLLS ON FIVE SEATS
The BJP has lost four Lok Sabha seats in the States where it is in power. Its leaders might argue that the results are not a mandate on their governance, but the recent defeat has worried the BJP. That is why the party is gearing for byelections on five Lok Sabha seats.
The BJP has claimed that it will win two Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, which are going for byelections. Sources say that after the defeat in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, the party high command wants to save both Maharashtra seats at any cost. One seat is in the Vidarbha region, which is said to be the stronghold of Devendra Fadnavis.
The BJP has started preparations for byelections on these seats. One seat is Bhandara-Gondiya, where Nana Patole has left the BJP and joined the Congress. Patole had won this seat after defeating Praful Patel. The BJP thinks that the Congress and NCP will be at loggerheads on this seat. Palghar seat has been vacated after the death of a BJP MP, and the party is hopeful of sympathy votes.
After Maharashtra's two seats, Kairana seat is the most important for the BJP. The party is ready to rope in Mriganka Singh, daughter of Hukum Singh, who was an MP from here and after his death the seat is lying vacant. Mriganka had fought the Assembly Elections from her father's seat, but lost.
Probably, there will be no elections on Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag seat due to security reasons. But byelections will be held at the seat which has been vacated by Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio. Here, the Naga People's Front, the old ally of the BJP, will put in its efforts, and the Congress will support it. So, this fight will also be very interesting. The Election Commission may announce byelections for all four seats, barring Anantnag, before July.
JHARKHAND CONG TROUBLE
Apart from Deepak Bawaria in MP, Rahul Gandhi has appointed one more full-fledged State president: Ajoy Kumar. Rahul has appointed him as the president of the Jharkhand Congress. The moment he took responsibility of the State, people started opposing him. He and the State in-charge, RPN Singh, have fought with at least two old leaders.
Ajoy Kumar and RPN Singh had to choose the candidate for the Rajya Sabha elections and had to take support of the JMM for that. In the last elections, the Congress had supported the JMM candidate, so this time, it was the JMM's turn. However, Ajoy Kumar announced that Hemant Soren would be the leader of the alliance and the Congress would lead the fight in the elections.
Senior leaders of the party got angry after the announcement; Subodh Kant Sahay is said to have lambasted Ajoy Kumar and RPN Singh. He said that the Congress leaders had been working hard in each and every village of the State for the past three years, and when the leader would be from some other party, where would the Congress leaders and workers go? He said that as soon as the Congress accepted Hemant as its leader, the party lost its bargaining power.
The other fight was with Rajesh Thakur, who is the president of the newly set up Unorganised Workers Congress and the spokesperson of the party in the State. Ajoy Kumar joined the Congress three years ago and has been recently appointed the AICC representative. After this decision, there was news that Ajoy Kumar has not made even a single Congress member in the past three years, which is the primary condition to become the AICC representative. For this, Ajoy Kumar lambasted Rajesh Thakur, and he also retorted.
NEW FRONT IN SOUTH?
The political scenario of the country is changing rapidly. MPs from three big Southern States, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu, have been agitating in Parliament on a daily basis. All have separate demands, but a common complaint: Nobody listens to them in Delhi. Leader of the TRS and Chief Minister of Telangana, KC Rao, has taken the initiative to create a non-Congress, non-BJP front. Probably, he will be talking to the leaders of South India.
Meanwhile, DMK leader MK Stalin has started raising the issue of Dravidistan, becoming vocal for a Dravidian identity. For this, he is also opposing Hindi and has advised people in his State to give Dravidian names to their children.
In Karnataka, Siddaramaiah is indulging in similar tactics. The CM of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu, and leader of the Opposition, Jagan Mohan Reddy, have raised the issue of special status for their State and have give a notice for a no-confidence motion against the Central Government. That is why there is a discussion that South Indian parties might create a separate front. If this happens, then it will be an indication of a big change in the country's political landscape.
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