Nora Chopra

If the BJP comes to power in Uttar Pradesh, then Bundelkhand is likely to get a chief minister. The erstwhile sadhvi turned politician and ex-minister and CM of Madhya Pradesh and currently Union minister  Uma Bharati may well be BJP’s nominee for the UP CM’s post.   Narendra Modi having set its heart and eyes on the non-yadav OBC votes, the best bet can only be Uma Bharati, who is a non-Yadav OBC lodh rajput from the backward region of Bundelkhand. She even symbolises the Hindutva forces who is one of the prime accused in the Babri Mosque demolition.  This would nullify the chances of  Gorakhpur MP Swami Adityanath who is a Rajput by caste and has been nursing the ambition of becoming the chief minister of UP. Uma’s ascendency to the top post of the most populous state can alienate the upper castes, particularly the Brahmin. 


While the Prime minister Narendra Modi is maintaining a conspicuous silence on the state of economy in the country. it is in such a bad shape that even newspaper owners like Shobhana Bharatiya are forced to rethink whether they should continue with the highest selling newspaper Hindustan times. Two weeks ago, the HT chairperson Shobhana Bharatiya met with the Reliance supremo Mukesh Ambani. The idea was to sell off Mint and eventually the flagship Hindustan Times. The second meeting took place in between the merchant bankers in faraway Kolkata and the deal was further cemented for Mint. Mint staffers in Mumbai have already moved into the office of CNBC News 18. Some have been fired. The Hindustan Times has already closed down near about a dozen editions including that of Allahabad, Ranchi, Kanpur, Muzaffarpur Jaipur, Kolkata, Varanasi and Bhopal,  thus leaving hundred plus journalists jobless. The business bureau of Delhi and Mumbai have also shut down. The Times of  India has also put a freeze on hiring after moaning in a lengthy Oped about the way the revisions in pay scale of journalists and others in the wage board was eating into the viability of media houses. Meanwhile demonetisation is being cited as a reason for the pressures for the dwindling ads and revenues which are leading to job cuts in the print media.  Recently NCP chief Sharad Pawar has stated that demonetisation has made political parties so bankrupt that they cannot give advertisements during elections. The economic situation is so bad that even top media proprietors are seeking discounts on newsprints.


As the crises in the AIADMK persist, shadow boxing between the Congress and the BJP continues to grab the limelight.  The BJP is backing Panneerselvam in view of the presidential elections where they need the support of the MPs in Rajya Sabha in view of their short number.  Meanwhile the ace Supreme Court lawyer and Congress leader Kapil Sibal was at pains to explain that he has no role in the Tamil Nadu crises. It was to clear the air on the speculation that he has been advising VK Sasikala on the DA case through her husband M Natrajan who was in Delhi for a week prior to the political and constitutional crises in Chennai.  The buzz was that Sibal was helping Sasikala on the promise that she would eventually tie up with the Congress and will take a non-partisan position on all issues in Parliament. Despite Sibal’s vehement denials, not many were convinced. Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary too made it a point to reiterate the line : ‘We have nothing to do with what is happening in Tamil Nadu. Interestingly even the BJP has been saying the same. Not known to be very media savvy Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has been issuing statements almost on every day basis, to reassert that ‘ it is the internal matter of the AIADMK – the centre has no role’.


Former minister of the UPA government Jitin Prasad may win  the assembly poll  but  it would only be because of his own perseverance and luck. His party will not get the credit. as they have left no stone unturned to get him defeated.. Poor Jitin Prasad the two time minister in Manmohan Singh’s UPA government, in these election days, has become a victim of the internal power struggle of the Congress party. /Despite the Congress high command’s initial decisions that all ministers and important leaders of the Congress from Uttar Pradesh would contest in the assembly polls, it was only left to Jitin Prasad to contest the elections. Nobody else tried to even take a chance, not even Salman Khurshid’s wife Louis.  Since only Jitin was contesting, it was presumed that he would be the Congress nominee for deputy chief ministership. But when reports started giving positive feedback about Jitin, not a single leader has visited Tilhar seat in Shahjehanpur to canvas for him.      


Maharashtra PCC chief Ashok Chavan is once again under the scanner. Resentment is high against Maharashtra PCC chief Ashok Chavan and Mumbai chief Sanjay Nirupam as well as general secretary in-charge Mohan Prakash for ignoring the interests of the Congress Party and it workers in the state. Their charge against Chavan was that he gave tickets in exchange of money.  A senior Congress leader – Balaji Thorat --  was so upset with Chavan for giving tickets in the municipal corporation elections to rank outsiders that he fielded independent candidates against Chavan’s candidates and  campaigned for them as Congress candidates. In Nagpur too  Congress workers were upset with Chavan. (IPA)

Sunday, 26 February, 2017