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Deep Throat

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Deep Throat
Deep Throat
outlookindia.com
2018-09-28T11:23:09+0530

Avoidance Play

The BJP in West Bengal has a point. Building bridges is not Mamata Banerjee’s strong point and that, according to the grapevine, could be a 2019 poll issue. The falling bridges of Calcutta—three since 2013, and the latest this Septe-mber—are sparking outrage and the opposition is ratcheting up the anger. But the Trinamool Congress has a counter-strategy: bridges funded by the Centre are the weak links, while successful projects are the state’s feat. The success stories will make the poll rhetoric. But the BJP leaders say Banerjee’s recent decision to form a panel to oversee bridge projects indicate that these are state-funded. Also, they say the move to shift the blame is like painting the Fourth Bridge.


Advantage Shotgun

Speculation is swirling that the BJP will not give the poll ticket to Shatrughan Sinha, its MP for Patna Sahib, in the 2019 parliamentary polls. The reason: his open rebellion against the party leadership. The buzz is that deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi could be offered the seat. Political observers believe Shotgun is having the best of both worlds by playing his cards well. The BJP has not expelled him nor has he shown any intention to quit the party. If the BJP does not field him from his hometown, he can fall back on “family friend” Laloo Prasad Yadav’s RJD, or the Congress, to contest as the alliance’s candidate. With Kayasthas, his fellow caste men, accounting for the largest chunk of voters and the RJD strongholds of Bakhtiyarpur and Fatuha assembly segments falling under the constituency, Bihari Babu may not be a pushover for the BJP-JD(U) combine.


Protocol Politics

This may be a first in Kashmir—a leader of Farooq Abdullah’s stature called on the DGP in his office to condole the murder of three cops recently. Abdullah, who is an MP, chief of the National Conference, a former CM and Union minister, could have summoned the DGP. But he didn’t. It’s surprising because even politicians such as Ram Madhav, the BJP general secretary, summons the DGP to the party office for matters pressing a discussion. So why did Abdullah break the ‘protocol’. His move is seen as an ­attempt to resurrect his image after his party announced boycotting the civic polls in October. The boycott is greatly debated, with demo­cracy and azadi thrown into the discourse.

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