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POLITICAL DELICACIES

 

By Nora Chopra

 

OPINION POLLS FAVOUR AAP IN DELHI

The BJP got three internal surveys by professional pollsters and the latest survey done by a pollster who predicted the most correct survey in the last assembly polls in Delhi has given a clear majority to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). A month ago the survey done by a pro BJP pollster, the predictions had given BJP the lead with 38 to 40 seats, AAP 22 to 25 seats. But the latest survey shows a huge surge for AAP, giving it 31 to 36 sets. It has given the BJP 29 to 31 sets and the Congress languishes behind on 2 to 3 seats. One seat would go to an independent – Bharat Singh in Najafgarh. According to the survey, this surge is not only because of the support of dalits minorities, the jhuggi jhopri brigade or the poorest of the lot, but the surge is also because of the massive traction of the bania votes. Almost 50 per cent of votes are going to Kejriwal, plus the disillusioned Jat votes, also about 50 per cent of which influence 13 seats in outer Delhi. There are 11 minority seats and all seats except one can go to AAP except the Ballimaran seat of Shoib Iqbal and the Mateen Ahmad seat. Out of the 17 seats in the semi-rural areas of Delhi, all had gone to BJP in the last assembly election of 13 but if the survey predictions come true then the BJP will get only 6 or 7 seats.

SMRITI IRANI EYEING UTTAR PRADESH

The HRD minister Smriti Irani who contested one unsuccessful election from Amethi in UP in 2014 has now set her eyes on the throne of the most populous state of the country. Irani now wants to become the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. Recently, few BJP supporters came to Delhi to meet her. After having team, one of them asked her, “Madam, kya hua? Aapko Dilli ka mukhya mantri nahin project kiya Modi’ji ne?” Irani got very upset. She reacted sharply. ‘I am already a union education minister. Why should I become the CM of a small state like Delhi? Modi’ji wants me to become the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.” Upon hearing this, one lady among them warned her, “But UP is a difficult terrain. How can you handle Uttar Pradesh?” This actually infuriated Irani further and she expressed her acute displeasure towards the lady questioner.

IS CHIDAMBARAM QUITTING CONGRESS?

After the exit of Jayanthi Natarajan from the Congress, all eyes are now set on P Chidambaram and his son Karti, who too can quit the Grand Old Party to join the Tamil Manila Congress. Both the father and the son have given enough indications of their unhappiness both with the state and Rahul Gandhi. Like GK Vasan, Chidambaram too has been demanding the change of leadership in his state to rejuvenate the Congress in Tamil Nadu. The senior leadership of the Congress in the state have been extremely concerned over the declining fortunes of the party in the state, with its vote percentage having dipped from eight percentage in 2004 to an all-time low of 2 per cent in the general election of 2014, creating panic among the leadership of the state. Both Vasan and PC had been emphasising for a change of leadership, but the party top brass, particularly Rahul, refused to pay any heed to their demands. Vasan was forced to walk out. It is alleged that it was the AICC in-charge of Tamil Nadu who created the misunderstanding between Rahul and Vasan, forcing the latter to go. Chidambaram too has been expressing his displeasure with Rahul’s functioning. But he became a suspect when he said that after Sonia quit as president, anyone could contest for the post. His son Karti has been attacking the TNCC president on his statement that he would bring back the Kamraj rule in the state. The younger generation does not even know who Kamraj was. The Congress should project CM in Tamil Nadu. He also has gone on record to praise Modi. When the TNCC chief wanted action against Chidambaram, he was told to shut up. Meanwhile, Chidambaram met Rahul but Rahul refused to make any changes. Chidambaram is said to have met Vasan. He cannot go to BJP because AIADMK is close to Modi and has struck an indirect alliance with the ruling party at the centre. If you go by the buzz in the political circles, then Chidmbaram is now all set to join Vasan’s Tamil Manila Congress. Chidambram was also a member of his father GK Moopanar’s party and both Vasan and he had joined the Congress after Sonia took charge of the party.

CONGRESS BANKING ON SHARMISHTHA

Unlike Madhusudan Mistry, who in his survey has given only 3 seats to Congress, there are several leaders in the party who are optimistic about the outcome of the Delhi elections. According to a powerful AICC office bearer, this time the party is going to increase its seat share. The Congress focus is mainly on 15 seats. And out of these seats, the Greater Kailash seat, from where President Pranab Mukherjee’s daughter Sharmishtha Mukherjee is contesting, has become an issue of prestige for the Congress leadership. The reason for the party’s optimism is that Sharmishtha is also getting support from the BJP. The BJP has fielded a dummy candidate in Rakesh Gulia against the VIP First Daughter of India. The BJP has left it to Saurabh Bhardwaj, the siting AAP MLA, to fight it out. Meanwhile, Sharmishtha is the only ray of hope for many Congress leaders, who want to be on the right side of the President. She is getting the maximum support from her party. With Congress out of power, the Rashtrapati is the only ray of hope for many. A sort of a competition is broken out among the Congress worker to show their faces and prove their loyalty to Mukherjee. Whether she wins or loses, his daughter has no dearth of volunteers. (IPA)

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