AFTER THE Samajwadi Party announced party MLA Azam Khan as the Lok Sabha candidate for Rampur, a section of party leaders, who have traditionally been at loggerheads with him for his style of functioning, are curiously looking towards the BJP now. They are inquiring whether the BJP will field his old political rival Jaya Prada from the seat that will make it a political thriller. Although the actor-turned-politician is yet to join the party, her mentor Amar Singh’s growing closeness to the BJP and RSS is believed to have triggered the buzz. Singh has been seen at RSS events of late and recently donated his property in Azamgarh to RSS affiliate Sewa Bharti. Jaya Prada was elected MP from Rampur in 2004 and 2009 on SP ticket when Singh was influential in the party. In 2014, she contested as RLD nominee in Bijnor and lost.
THE PARTY may not have made considerable electoral gains in Kerala and its leadership considers the state as one of the toughest terrain this elections, but the fight for a Lok Sabha seat in the BJP has been arguably the most intense, say party insiders. BJP leader K Surendran, who gained popularity with his leading role in the agitation against entry of women of all ages to the Sabarimala shrine, had the fiercest battle for his ticket from Pathanamthitta, where the shrine is located. BJP leaders in Delhi say the state leaders had inserted “random” names in the list prepared by the state unit in order to make things difficult for Surendran. But sources said RSS leaders in the state insisted that Surendran will be the best bet for the BJP in Pathanamthitta, which BJP Kerala unit chief P S Sreedharan Pillai also was keen on.
BJP PRESIDENT Amit Shah was late at the Vijay Sankalp Sabha in Agra on Sunday by more than 90 minutes. But when he came, the people waiting to hear him were in for a surprise. Chief Minister Adityanath, who wasn’t expected at the event, accompanied the party president. Shah was the star speaker though. During his speech, he asked the gathering who could be the Prime Minister if the Mahagathbandhan wins in the upcoming elections. A charged crowd immediately shouted, “Modi, Modi”. Losing his composure, Shah let out a little laugh and said, “Arre Mahagathbandhan ka Prime Minister”, to which nobody had an answer.