November 7, 2017 2:15:54 am
Will M Karunanidhi do a Nitish Kumar on the Congress? And will the Congress be caught napping again? While the BJP seems to believe that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goodwill gesture to call on the DMK patriarch could send a positive message and open a window, the Congress appeared unruffled. Both TNCC and high command leaders insisted that not much political meaning should be read into the Modi-Karunanidhi meeting. They preferred to believe it was a courtesy call and there would be no political realignment. The question is whether the party is in denial mode, like in the case of the Bihar Chief Minister.
No Holds Barred
First, they were reluctant to fight head-on, for old times’ sake. Therefore, it seemed, for a while, that they could opt for a bloodless parting of ways. The gloves off, it is now a no-holds-barred war between Bihar CM and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar and party leader Sharad Yadav. The next two days are crucial — an Election Commission hearing of pleas of both factions for recognition as the real JD(U), and a personal appearance of Yadav in front of Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu regarding a petition for his disqualification on the ground of defection.
With the BJP planning to observe Anti-Black Money Day on November 8 to counter the Opposition’s Black Day on the first anniversary of the demonetisation announcement, Union ministers will have a busy schedule in the next two days. The party leadership has assigned states to ministers, according to which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will have programmes in Delhi, Nitin Gadkari in Mumbai, Nirmala Sitharaman in Chennai. Ravi Shankar Prasad will be in Bhopal and Smriti Irani in Lucknow, explaining how the exercise helped the government fight the menace of black money. A dozen Union ministers will also address press conferences in different parts of the country on Tuesday and Wednesday.
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