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Deep Throat

A regular column on the essential buzz

Deep Throat
Cartoon by Sajith Kumar
Deep Throat
outlookindia.com
2018-06-22T11:48:30+0530

Caught In A Spot

When Nitish Kumar raised the demand of “special status” for Bihar at a recent Niti Aayog meeting, it was seen as posturing to negotiate a better seat share for his party in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. With JD(U ) in alliance with the BJP now, his choices are limited. Laloo Pra­sad Yadav’s RJD is out for him. Of the total 40 seats in Bihar, the BJP contested 30 in 2014, winning 22. Its allies Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP and Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP contested seven and three seats, respectively. The BJP is in no mood to spare many of its seats for Nitish, barring perhaps Patna Sahib and Darbhanga, represented by rebels Shatrughan Sinha and Kirti Azad. Will Nitish be left in the lurch by the BJP before 2019?


Looking Backward

The BJP is planning to pull out the OBC ace to trump the Opposition unity. With BSP leader Mayawati likely to stake claim to Dalit votes, the saffron party is looking at consolidation of the 41 per cent OBC votes for the 2019 general elections. The plan is to showcase PM Narendra Modi’s credentials as an OBC leader. In a recent brainstorming session, the BJP is believed to have decided on a major OBC outreach, involving training sessions for its OBC leaders and those from other backward class morchas. Party president Amit Shah is expected to kickstart the programme and also attend one of the workshops. All state units will be covered during July and August, after which they will take over the training at the district level. The focus will be on Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, which have relatively higher OBC populations.


Blast From The Past

Congress circles are abuzz with talk of certain leaders trying to scuttle Rahul Gandhi’s proposal to appoint former green minister Jairam Ramesh as coo­rdi­nator for the 2019 polls. Doing the rounds suddenly is a 2013 letter from Ramesh to the then Maharashtra CM Prith­viraj Chavan, vouching for the innocence of Mahesh Raut, a Prime Minister Rural Develop­ment fellow who had been taken into custody in Gadchi­roli. The letter resurfaced after Raut was recently arrested by the Pune police in connection with vio­lence following the commemoration of the Battle of Bhima Koreg­oan. Congress insiders claim industrialists unh­appy with Ramesh for holding back green clearances may not wish to help the party.

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