INDIAN POLITICS

mamata-banks-on-pk-s-suggestions-for-2021-assembly-elections

Mamata banks on PK’s suggestions for 2021 Assembly elections

Poll manager Prashant Kishor’s suggestions after a year-long survey are now being implemented by the Trinamool Congress (TMC). Party’s Lok Sabha member Mahua Moitra and former Indian cricketer and party MLA Laxmi Ratan Shukla have been made in-charge of important district units in Bengal as chief minister Mamata Banerjee decided to overhaul the face of the party leadership by putting young faces at the centre of its campaign for the 2021 assembly polls.
Senior leaders and those facing charges have either been shunted out or given higher posts that TMC insiders described as ‘non-functional’ in election-related matters. WB CM replaced key functionaries in north Bengal, where the BJP won all seven Lok Sabha seats in 2019, as well as those in the western districts of Purulia, and Bankura where the saffron outfit made deep inroads into sizeable tribal population by winning four Lok Sabha seats.
The BJP got 40.64 per votes winning 18 of the state’s 42 seats while the TMC got 43.69 percent votes winning 22 seats in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Youth wing of TMC headed by the chief minister’s nephew Abhisek Banerjee was also overhauled and presidents of several district units were replaced in an apparent bid to end infighting between leaders of the party’s general and youth wings in several pockets.
The TMC did away with poll observers and formed a seven-member steering committee for the 2021 assembly polls and a 21-member coordination committee. Significantly, Abhisek Banerjee was inducted in both committees.
The massive changes were made on the basis of a year-long survey made by political strategist Prashant Kishor, who was roped in by the chief minister after the debacle in 2019. The poll results indicated that a sizeable chunk of young voters supported the BJP. For the ruling party, this is a cause for concern before the crucial assembly polls where alleged nepotism in distribution of cyclone relief funds and mismanagement in the health sector can be raging issues.

24 Jul 2020
how-the-bjp-and-congress-handle-their-dissent-

How the BJP and Congress handle their dissent?

Both the Congress and the BJP face rebellion but how differently things are handled by the leadership of both the parties. When four National People’s Party (NPP) MLAs withdrew support to Manipur’s N Biren Singh-led government on June 17, 2020 threatening to bring it down and Rajya Sabha elections were also close, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s central leadership swung into action.

From Union home minister Amit Shah to BJP chief JP Nadda to party general secretary Ram Madhav immediately met the disgruntled MLAs and NPP chief Conrad Sangma to avert the crisis. It blew over by June 25 when Singh shook hands with detractors. A potential crisis in Karnataka in February was averted where several BJP leaders were upset over the denial of cabinet berths.

But due to alleged absence of grievance redress mechanism, the crisis in Rajasthan Congress has gone out of hands. Ashok Gehlot said that he had not spoken to his deputy Sachin Pilot from the past 18 months tells the real tale. This crisis is happening just two months after the MP government fell when 22 lawmakers resigned to pave the way for the BJP’s return to power. Rebels have expressed dissatisfaction over the party leadership not ready to hear them out.

A BJP leader is of the view that disagreements are expected in any political party. This is not a new phenomenon. This happened between Sardar Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru, between L K Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In such cases, these leaders used to supplement each other or even surrender to the other leader. There is a third authority in the BJP -- the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh -- that serves as the safety valve.

Despite such mechanism, not all disagreements were amicably solved. Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh had a bitter parting with the BJP after being sidelined. Shatrughan Sinha, Kirti Azad and Navjot Singh Sidhu came out in public with their grievances. However, no party will accept that it does not have a proper redress system.

20 Jul 2020
mamata-banks-on-pk-s-suggestions-for-2021-assembly-elections

Mamata banks on PK’s suggestions for 2021 Assembly elections

By IndianMandarins 24 Jul 2020

Poll manager Prashant Kishor’s suggestions after a year-long survey are now being implemented by the Trinamool Congress (TMC). Party’s Lok Sabha member Mahua Moitra and former Indian cricketer and party MLA Laxmi Ratan Shukla have been made in-charge of important district units in Bengal as chief minister Mamata Banerjee decided to overhaul the face of the party leadership by putting young faces at the centre of its campaign for the 2021 assembly polls.
Senior leaders and those facing charges have either been shunted out or given higher posts that TMC insiders described as ‘non-functional’ in election-related matters. WB CM replaced key functionaries in north Bengal, where the BJP won all seven Lok Sabha seats in 2019, as well as those in the western districts of Purulia, and Bankura where the saffron outfit made deep inroads into sizeable tribal population by winning four Lok Sabha seats.
The BJP got 40.64 per votes winning 18 of the state’s 42 seats while the TMC got 43.69 percent votes winning 22 seats in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Youth wing of TMC headed by the chief minister’s nephew Abhisek Banerjee was also overhauled and presidents of several district units were replaced in an apparent bid to end infighting between leaders of the party’s general and youth wings in several pockets.
The TMC did away with poll observers and formed a seven-member steering committee for the 2021 assembly polls and a 21-member coordination committee. Significantly, Abhisek Banerjee was inducted in both committees.
The massive changes were made on the basis of a year-long survey made by political strategist Prashant Kishor, who was roped in by the chief minister after the debacle in 2019. The poll results indicated that a sizeable chunk of young voters supported the BJP. For the ruling party, this is a cause for concern before the crucial assembly polls where alleged nepotism in distribution of cyclone relief funds and mismanagement in the health sector can be raging issues.

how-the-bjp-and-congress-handle-their-dissent-

How the BJP and Congress handle their dissent?

By IndianMandarins 20 Jul 2020

Both the Congress and the BJP face rebellion but how differently things are handled by the leadership of both the parties. When four National People’s Party (NPP) MLAs withdrew support to Manipur’s N Biren Singh-led government on June 17, 2020 threatening to bring it down and Rajya Sabha elections were also close, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s central leadership swung into action.

From Union home minister Amit Shah to BJP chief JP Nadda to party general secretary Ram Madhav immediately met the disgruntled MLAs and NPP chief Conrad Sangma to avert the crisis. It blew over by June 25 when Singh shook hands with detractors. A potential crisis in Karnataka in February was averted where several BJP leaders were upset over the denial of cabinet berths.

But due to alleged absence of grievance redress mechanism, the crisis in Rajasthan Congress has gone out of hands. Ashok Gehlot said that he had not spoken to his deputy Sachin Pilot from the past 18 months tells the real tale. This crisis is happening just two months after the MP government fell when 22 lawmakers resigned to pave the way for the BJP’s return to power. Rebels have expressed dissatisfaction over the party leadership not ready to hear them out.

A BJP leader is of the view that disagreements are expected in any political party. This is not a new phenomenon. This happened between Sardar Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru, between L K Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In such cases, these leaders used to supplement each other or even surrender to the other leader. There is a third authority in the BJP -- the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh -- that serves as the safety valve.

Despite such mechanism, not all disagreements were amicably solved. Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh had a bitter parting with the BJP after being sidelined. Shatrughan Sinha, Kirti Azad and Navjot Singh Sidhu came out in public with their grievances. However, no party will accept that it does not have a proper redress system.

falling-for-political-masters-cases-of-senger-and-dubey-perplex-people-at-large

Falling for political masters: Cases of Senger and Dubey perplex people at large

By IndianMandarins 11 Jul 2020

Criminal-politician nexus is old and huge which is blatantly displayed in the rise and fall of Vikas Dubey. But there are certain questions that perplex people at large. Had there been a favorable government, would Dubey still meet with the same fate? The answer is simply no.

The way case of Kuldip Senger and many such people with protection was handled tells the real tale. He was allegedly being protected by the state government so has been the case with Vikas by previous governments. Finally, the court intervened and Sengar was sentenced for life. Vikas Dubey continued to flex his muscles despite 60 criminal cases. Comparing the two cases one can say that silence is better than many answers.

now-congress-takes-on-bjp-on-pm-cares-fund

Now Congress takes on BJP on PM CARES Fund

By IndianMandarins 29 Jun 2020

After being cornered on getting funds for Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Congress has hit back at the BJP alleging that PM CARES Fund was accepting donations from Chinese firms when the armies of the two countries were engaged in a border standoff in Ladakh.

Senior Congress leader spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 18 meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the last six years and asked why he has not yet called China an aggressor. “I implore the Prime Minister to say China is an aggressor,” he said.

Singhvi said reports suggest the PM CARES Fund has received Rs 9,678 crore by May 20. The Congress spokesperson alleged Huawei has donated Rs 7 crore, TikTok Rs 30 crore, Paytm Rs 100 crore, Xiaomi Rs 15 crore and Oppo Rs 1 crore to the fund. HT couldn’t independently ascertain this.

Over the past few days, the BJP released details of contributions made to RGF by various state-owned companies, government departments, and the Chinese embassy. RGF is a private trust while the PM CARES Fund was set up in March this year to deal with any emergency arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has already funded the purchase of around 50,000 ventilators by government hospitals across India.

One of the allegations against the Congress, aired repeatedly by various BJP leaders over the past few days, is that the contributions made by the Chinese embassy and the Chinese government to the private trust controlled by the Gandhi family encouraged the party-led United Progressive Alliance government to turn a blind eye to India’s soaring trade deficit with China.

The charges and counter-charges have come against the backdrop of the stand-off between the two armies in Eastern Ladakh, where, on June 15, 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives in countering a transgression by the Chinese. An unknown number of Chinese soldiers also died in the incident.

Singhvi alleged that it was the BJP that has maintained ties with the Communist Party of China (CPC) since 2007 and its presidents, starting with Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and Amit Shah, have had the maximum number of exchanges with China.

motormouth-leader-adds-embarrassment-to-his-party

Motormouth leader adds embarrassment to his party

By IndianMandarins 26 Jun 2020

Motormouth leaders, across parties, often cause trouble for their parties. Former Congress minister Jitu Patwari provoked outrage when he tweeted: “Five daughters were born namely demonetization, goods and sales tax (GST), employment, inflation, and economic slowdown while anticipating a son called development (Vikas).” A similar statement was made for the leader of the party in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury when he said that Army arsenal is not to hatch eggs.

Meanwhile, Patwari deleted his tweet after MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan hit out at him and the Congress and called them anti-woman. Patwari regretted his comments and said daughters are like goddesses. “My tweet was to suggest how people have been waiting for years for development promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi but they got instead demonetization, GST, unemployment, inflation and economic slowdown which have broken the backbone of the economy.”

is-congress-government-in-rajasthan-moving-towards-a-roadblock-

Is Congress government in Rajasthan moving towards a roadblock?

By IndianMandarins 15 Jun 2020

All is not well in Rajasthan Congress as a tug of war between Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot may put the very existence of the Congress government in the state in jeopardy. Both the leaders are contradicting each others’ statements in public.

Earlier the decision of fielding former PM Manmohan Singh from Rajasthan and now K C Venugopal has not gone down well with the Congress workers in the state and they are saying that the BJP fielded its grassroots workers for the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka that the Congress must learn something from its opponent.

This has given rife to speculation that Pilot may part ways from the Congress with his 36 MLAs, the way Jyotiraditya Scindhia did in Madhya Pradesh. Rajasthan CM and many Congress leaders expressed their apprehension that Operation Lotus might happen in Rajasthan on the lines of Madhya Pradesh. 

Actually there is simmering anger in the Pilot camp on many issues as instead of the CM accomodating him and his supporters, he is humiliated and none of his work is allowed to be done in the state which is causing unease. People say that Pilot has been pushed to the brink now. The BJP will not miss any chance to grab this opportunity. Rajya Sabha elections on June 19 will make the picture clear in the state as the BJP is also being accused of poaching on the Congress MLAs.

Meanwhile, the ruling Congress has shepherded its MLA and other lawmakers supporting the party-led government in the state in a hotel. But if cross-voting happens despite all these precautions that would be an indication about stability of the Congress government being in danger with big leaders switching sides. The central leadership of the Congress is not taking any firefighting measure as always leaving the state leadership in the lurch.

difficult-for-congress-to-win-second-rs-seat-in-gujarat-with-mlas-resigning

Difficult for Congress to win second RS seat in Gujarat with MLAs resigning

By IndianMandarins 06 Jun 2020

There is always a fuss about Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections and with the third Congress MLA resigning from the party, it is pretty clear that the BJP is looking for maximum gain there. Gujarat is home state of PM Narendra Modi, HM Amit Shah and also the top Congress leader Ahmed Patel.

The Congress legislator Brijesh Merja resigned from the Assembly. Two Congress legislators -- Akshay Patel and Jitu Chaudhary – already resigned from the assembly on June 4.

It is pertinent to note here that with the resignation of Merja, the chances of the Congress winning the second Rajya Sabha seat becomes bleak as its tally in the 182-member House has now gone down to 65. Five Congress MLAs — Somabhai Patel, Praveen Maru, JV Kakadia, Mangal Gavit and Pradyuman Singh Jadeja — had resigned in March.

At present, the total strength of the Gujarat assembly is 172. The ruling BJP has 103 legislators, the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) two and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) one. There is one Independent legislator Jignesh Mevani.

The Congress has already fielded its senior leaders Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki, while the ruling BJP has named Abhay Bhardwaj, Ramilaben Bara and Narhari Amin as its candidates.

The Rajya Sabha elections, earlier scheduled to be held on March 26, were deferred due to the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent imposition of the nationwide lockdown from March 25. Last time the BJP tried to win one more seat but Ahmed Patel managed to win the Rajya Sabha seat but apparently, this time round the BJP will secure three seats in Gujarat.

Meanwhile, the Congress named veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge as its candidate for the June 19 Rajya Sabha elections from Karnataka.

is-aam-aadmi-party-the-next-refuge-for-sidhu-

Is Aam Aadmi Party the next refuge for Sidhu?

By IndianMandarins 05 Jun 2020

With the top BJP leadership saying bluntly no to the re-entry of Navjot Singh Sidhu into the saffron fold and the Congress too is not very comfortable with him, former Amritsar MP and ex-Punjab minister is looking for a new refuge. So will it be the Aam Aadmi Party?

Speculation is rife that this will help the party in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana alike but the kind of temperament that Sidhu has, surviving in AAP will be a tough challenge, feel political analysts.

But Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has welcomedSidhu’s with open arms when he said that he is welcome to join the party. There is change in the stand of Delhi chief minister who initially appeared to have distanced himself from the buzz that suggests his party had reached out to the Amritsar East MLA.

Sometimes back Sidhu approached some leaders in Punjab to reproach with the BJP leaders but that did not work either which has apparently sent him in silence mode. He is also checkmated by Punjab CM and all his attempts to draw strength from Rahul Gandhi failed.

Sidhu had been sulking in the Congress for months before he finally announced his exit from the Amarinder Singh cabinet on July 14, 2019. Sidhu’s last message on the micro-blogging platform is to declare that he had vacated his ministerial bungalow. Then, Sidhu went into silent mode.

A cricketer-turned-politician is desperate for some assignment and AAP is also looking for a Sikh face. Both of them could be mutually helpful especially in Punjab.He had stepped up his involvement with his constituents in Amritsar and beyond as well.

His possible shift may come soon as speculation is rife that he is in touch with AAP via election strategist Prashant Kishor. But for Sidhu, this wouldn’t be the first time that he has been reported to be looking at AAP as an option.

In 216 before he resigned from the BJP, his party of 12 years, Navjot Sidhu had received public invitations from AAP leaders in Punjab and Delhi to join their party. Sidhu, however, had surprised AAP leaders when word came that he would join the Congress. A party Awaaz-e-Punjab that he had launched, reportedly as a backup plan, fell apart soon after.

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