The tussle between Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat and state Congress chief Kishore Upadhyay is becoming a headache for the Congress high command. With Assembly elections round the corner, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi stepped in to play the role of a referee. He met Rawat on Tuesday and told him to bury the hatchet. Upadhyay did not attend the meeting called by Rahul as he was said to be unwell. Upadhyay, who was once considered a Rawat man, became his critic after he did not get the Rajya Sabha seat he was hoping for. The latest in the tussle: Upadhyay was not invited for the inauguration of a government tourism festival in Tehri, his home ground, on Sunday.
Days after calling off his Dalit-Maratha unity meet scheduled for October 19 in Shirdi, MoS (Social Justice) Ramdas Athawale has rescheduled it to November 11 in Kolhapur. The change in location was due to Shirdi’s proximity to Nashik, which has been witnessing the Maratha unrest. Kolhapur, about 400 km away, was ruled by Shahu Maharaj, who in the early 20th century provided 50 per cent reservation to backward classes in his princely state. Athawale’s renewed campaign plans to bank on the legacy of Shahu Maharaj, Shivaji (whose army, he says, had recruits from all castes), Jyotiba Phule and B R Ambedkar.
The Samajwadi Party operates in curious ways. First, several senior leaders of its youth wing, close to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, were expelled from the party by his uncle Shivpal Yadav. On Tuesday, the expelled leaders and “thousands of other SP youth workers” passed a resolution to boycott the party’s silver jubilee celebrations on November 5 to register their protest. This clearly anti-party resolution has now found top slot in the press release section of the SP’s official website. Few SP leaders had an explanation as to how this resolution, mentioned as “Press Release from Samajwadi Party Youth Wing”, was uploaded on the party website.
The Lok Sabha secretariat, it seems, is unable to keep pace with the government’s efforts to eradicate traces of Aurangzeb. Months after Aurangzeb Road was rechristened A P J Abdul Kalam Road, the new directory of the council of ministers published by the secretariat continues to refer to the road by its previous name. The road was renamed at the behest of BJP MP Mahesh Girri, who felt that Aurangzeb’s reign was one of torture and cruelty.