MAYAWATI SEES GOOD CHANCES FOR BSP IN 2017
Mayawati has big prospects to be the next chief minister of Uttar Pradesh replacing Akhilesh Yadav after the next assembly elections in 2017. Already the exodus has begun in other political parties. Three sitting MLAs of the Congress and one of the Samajwadi Party have left their parties to join Behenji’s BSP. What is significant in this is that all four MLAs are Muslims, who account for 18 per cent of UP’s population and they usually flock behind the party that can defeat the BJP. With her 21 per cent dalits support base which is consolidated behind her, particularly after the attacks on dalits by gaurakhshaks in Una in Gujarat, she is already smelling victory in the crucial polls next year.
PK WANTS SENIOR CONGRESS LEADERS TO CONTEST ASSESMBLY POLLS
Congress strategist Prashant Kishor is likely to submit his district-wise report to the party high command in October . PK as Kishor has come to be known in the Congress circles, is conducting a survey booth-wise survey, the objective being to identify sitting MLAs with dented popularity so that they can be denied tickets. According to sources close to PK, many of the sitting MLAs have not even covered 50 per cent booths and have not been able to even give a single name for the party’s candidate. Besides PK has recommended that all big names or ex-MPs should also contest to make the election campaign high profile. Those who have been identified to contest have already been given the indication. Among the possible names are of Jitin Prasad, Pramod Tiwari, P L Punia, Zafar Ali Naqvi and Salman Khurshid.
NO WORTHWHILE CONGRESS BID TO Win OVER DALITS
Questions are being asked about the Congress stand on the dalits. While the Congress is keen to get the dalit votes in its coffers, it has maintained complete silence on the dalit issue. The AICC has not issued a single statement attacking the government nor has the party demanded a debate vociferously on the issue like Mayawati. The party has adopted a soft stand both in the Parliament and outside. The SC-ST department of the AICC has become totally defunct. Its chairman K Raju who resigned from the IAS to join the Congress, continues to behave like a bureaucrat. He has become inactive after he was denied a Rajya Sabha seat. There have been no protests or dharna on the issue.
SULKING RITA LOOKING FOR OPTION IN SP
Former UPCC chief Rita Bahuguna is extremely upset over the selection of Sheila Dixit as the chief ministerial face of the party. Rita who is the daughter of Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, a Brahmin leader, was herself a contender for the post. But ever since the leadership chose Dixit over all other contenders, Rita has been sulking, The Congress leadership is also suspicious about her credentials ever since her brother and former Uttarakhand CM Vijay Bahuguna joined the BJP. Rita is said to be exploring options both in the BJP and the Samajwadi Party, her old home. But after the response of the Lucknow rally of the Congress, she seems to be having a rethink. But then her problem is that she does not want to contest from her sitting seat in Lucknow. Her preference is Allahabad.
PRAMOD TIWARI, JITIN PRASAD FIGHTING FOR LEADERSHIP SLOT
Pramod Tiwari and Jitin Prasad, two wellknown Brahmin leaders of UP in the Congress, have now set their eyes on Rahul’s committee in Delhi whenever the reshuffle is held. Hectic lobbying has already begun. The competition between the two was very much visible at the Lucknow meeting of party workers addressed by Rahul Gandhi recently. It was a successful meeting because the Congress leaders of UP, full of the much-needed enthusiasm, had brought most of the buses packed with supporters. Pramod and Jitin were highly successful in mobilising party workers. But not lagging behind was Thakur leader Sanjay Singh who too had brought a large number of workers in buses.
WESTERN UP CONGRESSMEN FEEL NEGLECTED
Resentment is brewing among the Congress leaders of western UP who are feeling ignored. Complaints are being lodged with Ghulam Nabi Azad. Not a single member from west UP has been included on the UP committees. Imran Masood, however, is an exception. His inclusion is by virtue of his being a Muslim. The thinking in the district Congress committees is that the Congress leadership seems to have given up on western UP. Whatever is given, it is to leaders from east UP. All the Rajya Sabha nominations in the last few years have gone only to east UP leaders. Whether it is Pramod Tiwari or PL Punia who was even given the post of chairman of SC commission or Sanjay Singh, who was not only given the RS seat but was even made the chairman of the campaign committee. All these people belong to East UP. (IPA)