Following its dismal show in the Lok Sabha election, the CPM now seems to be facing more trouble. Not only is the party’s national party status under question, but it may also lose its office in Parliament House. According to sources, its office on the third floor of Parliament House — room Number 135 —, which has been its address in Parliament for decades, may be taken away as its strength has come down drastically. The CPM has won just three seats in Lok Sabha and currently has five MPs in the Upper House. In 2014 too, when it won nine seats, there was a threat of the party losing the office, but it was able to retain it because of the stature of its leader Sitaram Yechury, who was then a member of Rajya Sabha, but was later denied a third term by the party. Now that the party does not have any leader of high stature in the Houses, it may not be lucky, said sources.
Former Prime Minister Deve Gowda, who lost the Lok Sabha elections, was in the national capital this week to meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi. The meeting, party insiders say, was a courtesy call, where election results were also discussed. But its not just the senior Gowda who is meeting senior politicians. His grandson, Nikhil Gowda, who made a debut in this election and lost from Mandya, visited newly elected Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy at his residence. And Reddy had a piece of advice for Nikhil: to continue working for the constituency despite the defeat.
A New Link
That the Election Commission is keen on linking Aadhaar with voter IDs is well-known. But before approaching the government with the proposal to amend the Representation of the People Act (to facilitate mandatory linking), the Commission had sought legal opinion on the feasibility of the proposal from a retired Supreme Court judge. The retired judge is learnt to have tendered a favourable opinion in the matter and told the Commission that linking Aadhaar with voter ID is one of the best ways to weed out bogus voters and illegal immigrants.