NITISH’S THREE-PRONGED GAMBIT IN BREAKING RANK WITH OPPOSITION

Author: 
Rahil Nora Chopra

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar broke rank with the Opposition and decided to support NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind because he wants to consolidate the maha- dalit votes in Bihar and also wants to bargain for Central funds for the development of his state. Nitish is apparently fed up of errant ally Lalu and is looking to maneuver to a safer political space. He is hugely uncomfortable with the lengthening list of corruption cases against the Yadav clan, which he feels are affecting his credibility. He played a political gambit by supporting the NDA candidate, but through this he has annoyed the Muslims, Yadav and Jadav castes. Lalu played a political card by saying ‘Bihar ki beti, Babu Jagjivan Ram ki beti’ and trying to consolidate his Muslim-Yadav-Jadav Dalit votes, the core vote bank of the RJD and hopes to get the benefit in the Lok Sabha in 2019 as well as in the next Assembly election.

NDA EYES GAINS IN GUJARAT FROM KOVIND NOMINATION

Ram Nath Kovind has been chosen as the National Democratic Alliance’s presidential candidate because of three reasons. First, Kovind, who belongs to the Koli sub-caste, is expected to benefit the ruling alliance in the Gujarat Assembly election. Secondly, they want to pacify the dalit community in UP and give the message that the BJP always stands for the development of the dalit community. Thirdly, he is  the ‘yes’ man of Narendra Modi.

RAHUL DOES SOME STRAIGHT TALK WITH NEW GENERAL SECRETARIES

According to sources, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has instructed the newly- appointed general secretaries of Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan to devote their attention fully to strengthening the party in their respective states rather than keep coming to Delhi for meetings. He has told them to spend at least half of the month in their states  so that the state-level party structure can be strengthened,  which will help revive the party.

CONGRESS RULES OUT SOFT HINDUTVA APPROACH

Before going on the foreign trip, Rahul Gandhi told certain minority leaders that some senior Congress leaders came to him saying that the party adopt a soft Hindutva line, but he refused to take their suggestion seriously. Instead, he advised them to be clear in their mind about the issue. Congress and the Gandhi family will never compromise on secularism. He also told them that the Narendra Modi government has just completed three years and not to get disheartened. He said the party will never compromise on its policies as well as secularism. He asked the party leaders to concentrate on the poor farmers, common man and weaker sections of the society as it will automatically revive the party’s fortunes. He also reminded them not to see people as Hindus or Muslims but to treat them equally and work to help them out of the distress faced by them. Congress would never try to divide the people on the basis of religion and go soft on Hindutva, he told the leaders. (IPA)

Sunday, 2 July, 2017