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The BJP, realising that Uttar Pradesh offers the best chances of securing maximum seats from any state in the next general election, has set in motion an exercise to win most of the 80 Lok Sabha seats. To begin with, the party’s national general secretary Sunil Bansal,
in-charge of Odisha, Telangana and West Bengal, has been made head of the month-long
outreach campaign prior to the actual election preparations. Some time ago, he was given
the responsibility of handling party activities in the 16 seats the party had lost in the 2019
elections. He is credited with preparing the turf for the party winning 71 out of 80 seats in 2014, and later for the BJP coming to power in the state in 2017 Assembly election. It is also likely that he may be back as UP in-charge after the term of Radha Mohan Singh completes in November.

New levels of hostility

The newly-resurgent Congress has unleashed a confrontationist attitude while dealing
with the Centre and the BJP. While the boycott of the inauguration of new Parliament building is the latest example, the Siddaramaiah government’s decision to put on hold projects initiated by the previous BJP government displays the next level in the Congress BJP confrontation. Several contractors’ associations in Karnataka have expressed concern that the decision to put on hold sanctioned projects could delay or withhold their payments.
Incidentally, such withholding of projects is a common occurrence in UP, earlier when the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party used to form government alternately, and
even now, when several projects initiated by the SP government are lying finished.

Delhi Tussle simmers

The tussle between Centre and Delhi’s AAP government over the control of services has got another twist with Congress leader Ajay Maken’s comments advocating Delhi’s status as a
Centrally-administered entity, since as National Capital the city belongs to the Union. Congress leaders Sandeep Dikshit and Partap Singh Bajwa from Punjab have echoed similar
views. Significantly, the Congress is yet to make its stand clear on Centre’s ordinance on the issue and has said it will consult with its leaders and other parties before taking a decision.

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