BJP eyes lone West Bengal RS seat


For the first time, the BJP will have an elected member in the West Bengal
Assembly for Rajya Sabha seat on its own strength. It is also the first that
Congress will not have a candidate in the state as Pradip Bhattacharya is set
to retire. Two WB BJP leaders were nominated earlier as Rashtrapati members. This time former Rajya Sabha Member Swapan Dasgupta and the Chairman of Shyamaprasad Mukherjee Foundation were shortlisted for the
post. The required number to win a seat in the state is 42 while the BJP presently has 70 MLAs. They may nominate a second candidate and try to get
support from rebel TMC MLAs. These days Swapan Dasgupta, known as “Bhadrolok” is spending much time in Bengal politics. Home Minister Amit Shah visited Kolkata to celebrate Tagore’s birthday and attended a programme organised by Dasgupta. External Affairs Minister Dr S Jayshankar whose Rajya Sabha term is also endin will also be visiting to attend a special programme organised by Dasgupta.

PM meets with President, sparks speculation

Following his return from state visits in the United States and Egypt, Prime Minister Narendra Modi privately met with President Draupadi Murmu after a Defence Ministry programme at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. While it is standard practice that the Prime Minister briefs the President on foreign visits, this particular meeting has BJP leaders speculating about a potential cabinet reshuffle or expansion in the coming days. The monsoon session of the Parliament may start towards the end of July. Many wonder whether the PM may rejig his council of ministers before the commencement of the session.

India Bangladesh relations discussed in the capital

As the general elections of both India and Bangladesh are drawing closer, experts in both countries met in a closed-door session organised by the Indian unit of US think tank Aspen, in the capital. High Commissioner of Bangladesh, Md Mustafizur Rahaman and Indian High Commissioner Pranay Verma attended this brainstorming session. Former Foreign Secretary G20 coordinator and former Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh, Shahidul Haque among others deliberated over bilateral relations. Former Bangladesh ambassadors candidly said that India should not put everything in one basket, clearly expecting a bipartisan approach towards Bangladesh.