What’s in a Rajya Sabha membership? The question was asked by many when BJP president Amit Shah was sent to the Rajya Sabha a couple of months ago. Shah’s Diwali greeting cards, however, mentioned his Rajya Sabha membership first. “Amit Shah, Member, Rajya Sabha; National President, BJP” is how he introduced himself in the cards.
The BJP in Gujarat is making use of every minute of its time before the model code of conduct is imposed in the state. The state unit of the party is working with clockwork precision to be ready in time when the poll dates are announced. The BJP has begun a week-long process of candidate shortlisting that will be done every day till October 26. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, party general secretary in-charge Bhupender Yadav, state chief Jitu Vaghani, former Chief Minister Anandiben Patel have begun the district-wise candidate shortlisting from Saturday. The BJP hopes to keep its list ready for the Central Election Committee of the party for formal ratification before the elections are announced.
Akhilesh Yadav’s new team of the Samajwadi’s national leadership after his re-election as party chief made news for the exclusion of his father Mulayam Singh Yadav and uncle Shivpal Yadav. However, one detail is still puzzling the party. While one of his cousin brothers, Akshay Yadav (Lok Sabha MP from Firozabad), has been made special invitee, Akhilesh’s other cousin Dharmendra Yadav (MP from Badaun) has not been accorded a place in the national team. Both Akshay and Dharmendra had taken Akhilesh’s side during the feud with Mulayam.
Laggard Kerala Congress
Kerala, the home state of Congress central election authority chief Mullappally Ramachandran, has not completed the organisational election process, which has now become a talking point in the party. It is heard that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had stepped in and asked the Pradesh Congress Committee to rework the list to give more representation to women, youth and SC/STs. The Congress amended its constitution recently to give 33 per cent reservation to women at all levels of the organisation. Sources said the high command has conveyed to the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee that if it doesn’t make the changes, the list will not be accepted and Kerala will be kept out of the process of election of the Congress president, which is expected to happen soon.