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Pawar’s and Didi’ jugalabandi; Tipu talks business with Congress on UP seat-sharing; Priyanka’s advisors hunt for a ‘fall guy’ for UP election results; Prashant Kishore’s hidden hands in Punjab fiasco; Congress CM war in Uttarakhand; AICC state in-charge should stay abroad; Jairam Thakur’s political trouble aggravates; RJD’s loss in by-elections could split the party; No more ‘Maharaja’;

Pawar’s and Didi’ jugalabandi 

Bengal’s Tigress Mamata Didi always listens to Pawar Saheb’s advice. Both are ex-Congressmen, running their own political outfits successfully. Their political career has grown on Congress’ downfall in their respective states of influence. They have cut Congress to size in their states while always maintaining a ‘closeness’ with Congress’s High Command, especially Madam Sonia. However, the two political veterans with high ambitions, wealth and tenacity for long fight, have joined to step out of their own territory and plan a national strategy to cut Congress and provide alternative to the Modi’s BJP-led NDA. 

Tipu talks business with Congress on UP seat-sharing

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is leading party’s UP assembly election charge, is not making much difference in perception among regional party chief as the former chief minister has no chance despite all media grabbing events. Tipu Akhilesh, in a recent talks held with Rahul’s confidante Randeep Singh Surjewala, made it clear that no more than 40 seats could be given against the latter’s demand of 80 seats. In a corporate-style negotiation, Tipu pointed out that those seats would be given where Congress won and was runner up during the last election. Any extra or choice seats have to be negotiated and given logical reason. He is adamant that 40 seats is the best offer for now. The heat of election campaign and these tough talks from regional party chief are already making Priyanka‘s advisors and well-wishers nervous.

Priyanka’s advisors hunt for a ‘fall guy’ for UP election results

With Congress’ chances of improving seat-share in UP election looking thin, Priyanka’s political advisors and well-wishers are in panic. They are hunting for a suitable ‘fall guy’. But big leaders are not willing to put out their neck for her rescue. Veteran leader Kamal Nath politely refused, citing his Madhya Pradesh’s priority. The Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel promised to contribute ‘resources’ for the campaign but not willing to spearhead as his own fate hangs in balance and can’t afford to stay away from the state for a long campaign tours. Now advisors are in panic as time is running out for safe passage.

Prashant Kishore’s hidden hands in Punjab fiasco 

In the high voltage political drama in Punjab involving two Jat Sikhs— Captain and Comedian— PK’s key role got buried. But as per buzz, it was he who lit the fire that finally engulfed the party with now a remote chance of coming in power in forthcoming assembly elections. As an ‘advisor’ to Captain, PK’s team conducted a ‘survey’ and claimed that more than 43 MLAs needed to be dropped, if party wants to win election. The ‘bombshell’ report was leaked, creating panic among the MLAs, which included some powerful ministers. They started making quick move against Captain; they joined hands with his arch rival Comedian Sidhu who was side-lined earlier. 

When the heat turned due to PK’s machinations, he quietly resigned from ‘advisor’ post and started doing the same for Rahul- Priyanka. He now advised brother-sister that Captain has become liability and needs to be replaced with someone like Sidhu, a charmer and smooth talker. But the change so poorly mishandled by novice leaders that they ended into appointing a third person, Channi as a face-saver and played a Dalit card. With Ops Punjab over, PK did not waste time in leaving brother and sister and coming out in open to work for his masters — Pawar-Didi.

Congress CM war in Uttarakhand 

Uttarakhand politics is in turmoil. Both Congress and senior leaders are in one-upmanship to become next CM. Punjab’s political trouble shooter is sure his party chief and AICC state in-charge is trying to cut his chances by inducting his political and caste rival Harak Singh Rawat from BJP. He played Dalit card as it was done in Punjab by bringing Yashpal Arya from BJP. BJP high command’s current indication to side-line all old leaders have made them explore deals with Congress. It includes former cabinet minister and ex-CM. But all have only one condition: should be made CM. So Congress’ list of wannabe CMs has ballooned without even a vote has been cast!!! Will this ‘bloat’ sink Congress ship even if it wins?

AICC state in-charge should stay abroad

By-poll wins in all 4 seats (3 assembly, 1 MP) have enthused Congress workers. But suddenly posters have sprung in the state crediting the win to AICC state in-charge Rajiv Shukla. But Shukla for the past month was in Dubai busy with his high profile IPL’s World Cup role. He was nowhere in state during the entire campaign. This has triggered a joke among Congress leaders that it is good that the party in-charge remains abroad and enjoys his ‘other activities’ and leave election campaigning and strategy to local state leaders. Certainly, this is a good piece of advice, considering the past track records of AICC leaders' penchant for indulging in petty politics at the cost of party’s welfare.

Jairam Thakur’s political trouble aggravates

Himachal’s by-poll election results have put CM Jairam Thakur on the back foot. Several state leaders have started indulging in whisper campaigns against his inability to run the state’s administration effectively, especially during the second Covid wave. However, those close to Thakur blame BJP’s party chief JP Nadda for quietly indulging in state’s affairs. In one case, a strong candidate whose father was a cabinet minister, was denied ticket on specious ground. This was as per buzz due to traditional rivalry between two prominent communities, Rajput and Brahmin, who hold sway on state politics cutting across party lines. The cabinet minister was a Thakur, so his son was denied ticket on the instigation of a local Brahmin leader who is said to be close to Nadda. The result was the son who fought independently came runner up against Congress' strong candidate while BJP’s official just got 2000 plus votes.

RJD’s loss in by-elections could split the party

Tejashwi Yadav' game-plan to outbid his family’s rival, especially his estranged brother Tej Pratap by winning two crucial by-poll seats by putting all his might, backfired with a loss in both seats. He even exposed Lalu Yadav’s prestige at stake by making him campaign for the two by-polls seats despite his long absence from active campaigning and poor health. Now powerful family members are gunning for him for the poor party’s strategy and election results. Sensing the trouble, Lalu took the next flight after the election's results and landed in Delhi.

No more ‘Maharaja’

After successfully selling of ‘Maharaja’-- the national carrier, Indian Airlines and Air India-- the Civil Aviation minister  Jyotiraditya Scindia, also addressed ‘Maharaja’ by his supporters, wants to get rid of it. He has been making deliberate efforts to project himself as an ‘aam admi’ by surprise visit to his secretary's office, picking up a broom. Just check his Twitter feeds for pictures. Some say it could be the impact of PM Modi who always prides on his humble background of a ‘chai wala’. Will this ‘Maharaja’ be able to repeat his success?

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