By Rahil Nora Chopra



After Karnataka and Goa, now the BJP is trying to destabilise the Congress government in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. With the induction of three Congress defectors in Goa Cabinet, the ambitious Congress MLAs of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are creating pressure on Ashok Gehlot and Kamal Nath respectively to induct them into the Cabinet, even as the governments in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are depending on the support of BSP and independent MLAs. On the other hand, BSP chief Mayawati is now pressuring both the Congress chief ministers for inducting her MLAs in the Cabinet. The Congress party is trying their best to hold their MLAs in both the states. With Rahul Gandhi leaving the all India party presidentship and until a new party president comes along, it would be difficult for Ashok Gehlot and Kamal Nath to hold on to the Congress MLAs. Needless to say that BJP state leaders of both the states are watching the development closely. With the Congress defeat in the Lok Sabha election in both the states, the rival tribes of former and potential chief ministers are waiting for the time to stage a rebellion-cum-exit from the Congress.


After the Lok Sabha election, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is worried about the unity within her party TMC. Many of the MLAs and municipal councillors have left the TMC and joined the BJP, even as the election of Kolkata Municipal Corporation is going to be held next year, 2020, and after that in 2021, the West Bengal assembly election will be held. To mitigate the attrition of TMC legislators, Mamata Banerjee has taken the advice of election strategy expert Prashant Kishore; yet, every week, about two to four TMC leaders are joining the BJP. At present, the Bidhannagar Mayor and the MLA Sabyasachi Dutta are ready to join the BJP. According to BJP leader Mukul Roy, MLA Sabyasachi Dutta has recently met him. Meanwhile, in a major boost, several TMC councillors who had joined the BJP last month have returned to the TMC fold. This is definitely going to help the TMC regain Kanchrapara and Halisahar municipalities in North 24 Pargana district and South Dinajpur Zila Parishad. According to TMC leader and MP Abhishek Banerjee, many TMC leaders had joined BJP after the Lok Sabha polls and out of total 23 councillors in Halisahar, many of the TMC councillors had gone to BJP, but 13 of them came back to TMC again on 9 July. So TMC has the support of 13 councillors out of 23, but Mukul Roy responded that this was nothing but a political strategy, and that the returnee MPs will work for the BJP, not TMC! In the same way, the members of South Dinajpur Zila Parishad had gone to BJP and they too returned to TMC, but the local BJP leaders are blaming TMC that they are using police and administration to force them to go back to TMC. It remains to be seen whether Prashant Kishore would help TMC in winning the local body elections.


After the breaking of SP-BSP alliance, Mayawati is blaming SP for the defeat of her party in the Lok Sabha election. This is despite the BSP winning 10 seats this time against no seat in 2014 Lok Sabha election, while the SP has won only 5 seats. Even Dimple Yadav, the wife of Akhilesh Yadav, has lost the Lok Sabha election. It may be due to Modi wave, or due to Akhilesh’s uncle Shivpal Yadav, but the BJP government in the Centre is now inquiring about the mines scam in Uttar Pradesh during the tenure of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. The CBI has raided in many places of Lucknow and Sultanpur and are going about in the same way as they had done in fodder scam of Bihar, in which Lalu Prasad Yadav was the main accused. According to Senior SP leaders, this is the time for unity in the family to save the party and Akhilesh Yadav.


After the rebellion, Congress MLAs travelled from Bengaluru to Mumbai in a chartered aircraft. The Congress party is blaming the BJP for taking the MLAs to Mumbai because the Jupiter aviation company belongs to BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar. However, Chandrasekhar tweeted that he should not be blamed because the chartered flight service is available to everyone and there is no relation between the BJP and hiring the chartered plane. Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy was advised by his well-wishers before going abroad last week that his rival and former CM Siddaramaiah was up to mischief, so he should not travel abroad at this juncture. Meanwhile, BJP MP Umesh Jadhav who defeated Mallikarjun Kharge in the Lok Sabha election from Gulbarge, has suggested that if Dalit leader Mallikarjun Kharge is made the Chief Minister in place of HD Kumaraswamy, it would unite the party and will bring back all the Congress-JD(S) MLAs.


Around 16 reporters and editors attended the post-budget dinner, while rest of the journalists boycotted the event, causing a huge embarrassment for the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. In an unprecedented show of unity and in an effort to safeguard journalistic freedom, over 100 journalists covering Finance Ministry decided not to attend the post-budget dinner party hosted by Sitharaman at the Taj Mahal hotel in Delhi on Friday last. Journalists unanimously decided to boycott the post-budget dinner because the Finance Ministry has put in place restrictions on the entry of media persons into North Block allowing access to only those accredited journalists who have a prior appointment with an official. Journalists have requested the Finance Minister to revoke the ban. (IPA)

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