PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi is likely to visit Bhimrao Ambedkar’s residence in London during his trip for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting scheduled to be held there next week. The residence, where Ambedkar lived between 1921 and 1922, was bought by the Maharashtra government in 2015 for about 3 million pounds. It was later converted to a memorial in honour of the Dalit icon.
IN HIS meeting with party leaders in Lucknow, BJP chief Amit Shah is learnt to have given them a dressing down. According to sources, Shah told the state leaders that the party had been in power at the Centre for four years and there had been several attempts from critics as well as opposition to “malign” its leaders and the government. But the party managed to withstand everything. In the case of Uttar Pradesh, in one year the government’s image as well the party’s had taken a beating. This is, according to him, because of the internal contradictions, including personal rivalries between the leaders. Shah gave them a strict warning that he would not tolerate it and they have to work together.
THE CONGRESS and JMM had joined hands and defeated the BJP in the recent Rajya Sabha elections in Jharkhand. The two are set to fight the Lok Sabha elections together next year. But, surprisingly, the parties are not contesting together for the municipal elections in the state. The Congress has fielded candidates for all the seats and sources in the party said the idea is to show the party’s strength in the state. The Congress is considered a marginal player in Jharkhand and the party is now leaving no stone unturned to secure as many seats as possible to convey a message to the JMM as also to the ruling BJP. If the party manages to register a good performance, it will come in handy when negotiations begin for seat-sharing for the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
Divide And Manage
AMID THE buzz that Congress could replace Raj Babbar as president of its UP unit, many leaders are suggesting that the state be divided into four parts — eastern and western UP, Bundelkhand and Awadh — and four presidents be appointed. If not four presidents, they say there should be four working presidents for the regions. The argument being that this would help groom new leadership in the four regions.