With the BJP keen on shedding its anti-minority tag in Kerala, the state unit has been asked to propose names of a few Christian candidates. As part of the strategy to expand the party’s base in the southern coastal state, the BJP national leadership had asked state unit leaders to get close to Church leaders in the state, and Union ministers often obliged requests from Church leaders to attend their programmes. During the discussions on finalising candidature, state BJP leaders were asked to ensure that names of at least four or five candidates from the Christian community feature in the BJP list for Kerala.
A day after the Congress announced a coordination committee for Haryana, the panel had its first meeting on Tuesday. Senior leader and party MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi, however, skipped the meeting, setting tongues wagging. There is already speculation that a high-profile Haryana Congress leader could soon join the BJP. At the meeting, it was decided that top state Congress leaders will start a bus yatra next week. The yatra, which is to crisscross the state, is set to start at Faridabad. With Bishnoi missing from the meeting, a senior Congress leader merely said that all those who are in the party will be in the bus. The question now is whether Bishnoi will be in that bus; also, with factionalism showing no signs of abating, will that be a bus to nowhere?
With elections announced, the Cabinet Secretariat has reiterated to the Department of Personnel and Training the Election Commission’s directive that no official connected with the polls should be transferred, and ministers should not mix government work with election duty. Some OSDs and other personal staff of ministers posted in ministries have already put in their papers to officially devote time to party work for the next three months. Some of them are learnt to have even expressed confidence to ministry staff that they will be back.