The issue of a caste census, raised so vociferously by JD (U) and RJD some months ago, has now been acquired by the Congress as its major campaign plank for the forthcoming Lok Sabha election. In UP, the Samajwadi party too has been raising this issue with Akhilesh Yadav making the demand at various public meetings. But the Congress has upped the ante by demanding this census, followed by scrapping of the 50 per cent limit on reservations. The party plans to hold a conference on the subject in Mathura, to be followed by district-level meetings across the state. The party hopes to steal a march over the SP which has been making forays into the upper caste Hindu territory in a bid to dent the BJP.
UNEASE OVER PLAIN SPEAK BY GEHLOT
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s plain speak at a recent Youth Congress conference in Jaipur is the topic of much discussion among party leaders in Jaipur and Delhi. Gehlot not only suggested that holding repeated meetings in Delhi for candidate selection was a futile exercise, but said that party tickets should be finalised at least two months before the election to allow candidates to work in their areas. He also caused a stir by saying that many party MLAs admitted that they were likely to lose the elections. His observations have caused unease in Rajasthan Congress which is already divided in many camps. Already many prospective candidates feel their chances could be hit by Gehlot’s statement.
SCINDIA AIDE GOES BACK TO CONG
The return to Congress of Baijnath Singh Yadav of Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh has come as the latest event in the game of one-upmanship between Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and MPCC leader and former CM Kamal Nath. A few days ago, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had made a veiled attack on Scindia, and now, Yadav’s return from BJP to Congress is a big embarrassment, especially because of the deliberate pomp and show accompanying his return, Yadav, a Scindia loyalist, had quit the Congress along with Scindia in 2020, but had failed to get any importance in the BJP. The fact that Digvijay Singh’s son played a role in bringing Yadav back to Congress, indicates that Digvijay and Kamal Nath could be putting their differences behind.