The Left and the Trinamool Congress may be bitterly fighting against each other in West Bengal, but Mamata Banerjee it appears does understand the importance of friendships across the aisle. One gets to hear that the West Bengal Chief Minister did not forget to send a copy of her latest book India in Distress, which was released some days ago, to senior CPI leader D Raja. The Rajya Sabha MP and CPI national secretary is one of the Left leaders who has good relations with leaders across the political spectrum.
Leaders of the SP-BSP-RLD alliance will start their election campaign with a joint rally in Deoband in western Uttar Pradesh on April 7. An official statement issued by the SP to announce the programme specifically mentioned that the campaign will be started during the ‘auspicious days’ of Navaratri. BSP chief Mayawati, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and RLD chief Ajit Singh will jointly address the rally. Akhilesh had shown inclination towards soft Hindutva by visiting temples in the past, but this is the first time when BSP chief Mayawati is beginning her poll campaign during Navaratri. Also, the statement Mayawati issued after holding a meeting of UP office-bearers on Thursday, for the first time mentioned about the presence of RLD in the alliance. She asked workers to work for the victory of all three parties, including the RLD. So far, she had been speaking only about the “SP-BSP” alliance.
For A Seat
Kerala being one state where the Congress considers its prospects bright, there appear to be half-a-dozen aspirants for most of the seats. The aspirants have now come to Delhi after the state leadership failed to reach consensus on any seat. One of the aspirants, a senior party leader, has come with recommendation letters from five bishops in the state. Church and its leaders are considered to be influential in the state. The leader wanted to submit the recommendation letters to the Congress leadership. However, another party veteran advised the leader not to take out the letters as, according to him, “it means nothing” and the leadership is unlikely to oblige all the bishops.