One Too Many
The race for the post of election campaign chief has become a cause of worry for the Karnataka BJP. Each caste has to be accommodated in the poll committee. With BS Yeddyurappa’s KJP merging with the BJP, the Lingayat strongman has also thrown his hat in the ring. The post of the legislative council chief has been given to former CM Sadananda Gowda and that of the party president to Prahlad Joshi, a Brahmin. Jagadish Shettar, a Lingayat and also a former CM, has been made the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly. With the demand growing for backward class leader KS Eshwarappa to be given the post, party members are unsure of where to fit Yeddy.
Narendra Modi’s rising popularity in the Northeast has run into a hitch. Manipur’s Muslims have decided to boycott the 8 February rally in Imphal. The move was apparently in protest against the Gujarat CM’s alleged role in the 2002 riots. However, rumours abound about how the decision was inspired after the Congress nominated Haji Abdul Salam as the Rajya Sabha MP from the state. Communal equations, anyone?
Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil’s statement that his department is seeking legal opinion from the law department on taking action against MNS leader Raj Thackeray, whose followers recently vandalised toll booths and beat up toll staff in eight cities, has tongues wagging in the state. Thackeray holds no constitutional office. So why is legal opinion needed? Is it because Thackeray is a counterweight against the Shiv Sena-BJP?
Divided They Stand
Since the Hurriyat Conference in Jammu & Kashmir split into two, each faction tries to project itself more separatist than the other. But both are equally worried on Pakistan’s attitude to the splintering separatist landscape. Leaders of the new breakaway faction, named the Real Hurriyat, are miffed that rather than bringing in all groups on one platform, Islamabad is supporting every group singly, from a fullfledged political party to a one-man outfit.
Mayawati has been showering praise on journalists for their negative coverage of the Muzaffarnagar violence, the extravagant Saifai festival and the recent foreign junket by SP MPs and MLAs. She even told her BSP minions that the media has done a far better job than them in opposing CM Akhilesh Yadav’s government, which completes two years next month. She has ordered her cadres to keep the media in good humour and feed them information.