As Union Home Minister Amit Shah is likely to continue as BJP national president until the seven-month-long exercise of the party’s membership drive and organisational elections concludes, BJP presidents of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra are hoping to benefit from the situation. UP BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey is a Union cabinet minister whereas BJP’s Bihar chief Nityanand Rai and Maharashtra chief Raosaheb Patil Danve have also been inducted as Union Ministers of State. Organisational elections in states will take place before the election of the party’s national president.
Pitch For Women
Making a pitch for the women’s reservation Bill to be brought to the Lok Sabha in the first week of the Budget Session, Trinamool Congress at the all-party meeting called out to the three women in the room — Supriya Sule of NCP, Agatha Sangma of NPP and Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal — to make it “33% and 1/3”. The party that supported it though was BJD represented by Pinaki Mishra. Trinamool had fielded 41% women in the Lok Sabha elections — it has 41% women MPs in the House too — while BJD had fielded a third.
While uncertainty on who would lead the Congress continues, party circles are abuzz with speculation on who would lead it in the Lok Sabha. With Kerala giving the party 15 seats, names of senior parliamentarians from there are doing the rounds. Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor is a frontrunner but there is also a strong buzz about Suresh Kodikunnil. A section of leaders pointed out that the leader should be able to speak Hindi and English, and suggested former Union minister Manish Tewari’s name. Another name is Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. Both Suresh and Chowdhury participated in the all-party meeting called by the government on the eve of Lok Sabha session.