While the Aam Aadmi Party may have given the Congress some more time to think about an alliance, the party’s Delhi unit has forwarded a list of probable candidates for all seven seats to party president Rahul Gandhi. Interestingly, the Congress high command is learnt to be keen on having Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit contest the polls — from East Delhi constituency. Dikshit is said to be reluctant. If there is no option but to contest, they say she would prefer Chandni Chowk. Kapil Sibal, who had declared his intention to contest from Chandni Chowk, is said to be keeping a close watch on talks on alliance. He, too, could back out in case there is no alliance with AAP, it is learnt.
To RS On Sena Ticket?
Did election strategist and JD(U) leader Prashant Kishor play a role in Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi’s rather seamless move to the Shiv Sena? The buzz in Congress circles is that he did play a role. It is being said that the Sena has promised her a Rajya Sabha seat next year — seven Rajya Sabha vacancies arise in Maharasthra in April 2010. Congress leaders say the Sena is looking for a suave and articulate media face in the national capital as part of Aaditya Thackeray’s attempt to refurbish the party’s image, both at the state and national level. Chaturvedi, they claim, was anyway unhappy with the Congress ever since the party ignored her claim for a Lok Sabha ticket from one of the seats in Mumbai.
At the SP-BSP-RLD rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Mainpuri, where BSP chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav shared the stage after 24 years, sitting MP from Mainpuri, Tej Pratap Singh Yadav of the SP, welcomed Mayawati with a bouquet and a memento of elephant, the BSP’s poll symbol, and SP leaders Mulayam and Akhilesh Yadav with a memento of bicycle, the SP’s election symbol. He then welcomed Mayawati’s nephew Akash Anand, a BSP leader — also with the memento of a bicycle. The absence of top RLD leaders Ajit Singh and Jayant Chaudhary was noticed by the local SP workers.