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From the India Gate: Bengal camaraderie, truncated Rajasthani wedding invite list and more

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From The India Gate Political Gossip Asianet News Network Special Episode 10
First Published Jan 29, 2023, 1:51 PM IST


As all parties gallop towards the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, a Samajwadi Party leader has literally shot his party in the foot. His comments on Ramcharitmanas, in which he alleged that Tulsidas wrote it for his own happiness but was being misused for abusing backward classes, have left the party with an egg on its face.

Interestingly, many in Samajwadi Party believe that it was not an inadvertent slip of the tongue. They think he did it intentionally to embarrass the party.

Reason? He had great expectations of becoming the party's state president. But the ambition was nipped in the bud. Party insiders believe that his speech against Ramcharitmanas on the eve of an election is to force the party to take action against him. And if the party ousts him or initiates any action, he will automatically become a cynosure of minority voters.

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The Congress in Rajasthan seems to be praying for the elevation of a veteran BJP MP to the Union Cabinet. For he is a single-man opposition!

The way he brings the state government to its knees, thanks to his huge mass appeal and an army of followers, is a lesson for opposition MLAs. The recent stir he launched in Jaipur demanding a CBI investigation into the 'leak' of question papers for teachers' recruitment is the best example. Though the police tried their best to solve the situation, the octogenarian has refused to budge. But people close to the veteran believe that his clout will only increase if he gets a Cabinet berth.

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The Aam Aadmi Party's Kerala branch is experiencing an unparalleled problem. The national leadership, which ousted incumbent office-bearers in Kerala, is readying to initiate immediate damage control. The state leaders are still in shock. None expected the national leadership to orphan its Kerala unit.

AAP's bosses have always maintained that Kerala is a fertile ground for the party. But the apathy towards its leaders -- many well-known social activists and writers -- has left them fuming.

Adding insult to injury was the stand Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal adopted at the Telangana rally. Kejriwal showered praises on Pinarayi Vijayan for Kerala's development, terming it a model for the nation'.

Kejriwal's words demoralized the state workers. Now the wait is for a new leader. Going by Kejriwal's practice, workers are expecting a headhunt in corporate style by conducting interviews with prospective candidates.

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For sure, these VIP leaders in Rajasthan BJP are not used to it. Normally they find it difficult to acknowledge all the invitations that come their way. But to their shock, they found their names removed from the list of invitees to the marriage of a national leader's son. 

As such, the leader had prepared only a short list of 20 names. But this was further shortened to just two names leaving others stumped. Their plight is that nothing about this embarrassment can be discussed with anyone. 

Many doubt the editing scissors were in the hands of a prominent state-level leader who didn't want any other colleagues to share the limelight.

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The saffron party is seeing red over West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose's 'mamata' for the state Chief minister. The BJP's state unit was expecting a sequel to Dhankar 'dangal'. But Bose took a different line and began taking lessons in the Bengali language. 

Chief Minister Mamata also grabbed the olive branch and attended the ceremony organised at Raj Bhavan to initiate the new Governor into the world of Bengali.

Opposition Leader Suvendu Adhikari, despite being invited, decided not to attend the ceremony and even criticised the function.

BJP is citing the presence of a senior bureaucrat in Raj Bhavan as a strategy to smoothen relations between the Governor and government. This woman IAS officer is the confidante of Mamata.

There are many who think Bose is forgetting his gubernatorial priorities. And echoes of the chaos have reached Delhi with Home Minister Amit Shah seeking a 'meeting' with Ananda Bose. How the tutoring will change Bose's approach in the coming days is to be seen.

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Naidu scion Nara Lokesh's 4000-km padayatra, which began on January 27th, is seen as a catapult capable of launching him as a prospective chief minister candidate. Political pundits present this argument after rummaging through the pages of history. For many leaders have reached CM’s chair after undertaking padayatras.

Soon after establishing Telugu Desam Party, Senior NTR toured erstwhile Andhra Pradesh which resulted in a thumping victory for TDP, decimating the Congress. Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, former CM of erstwhile AP, also undertook a padayatra before his successful victory at the hustings and chief ministership. Ditto is the case of his son and incumbent CM Y S Jagan.

Chandrababu Naidu had also undertaken a padayatra to cement his position. Naturally, there is simmering curiosity when his son walks from the father’s bastion of Kuppam. Titled Yuvagalam, Lokesh plans to resuscitate TDP through his yatra.

 And if he succeeds, more aspirants will adopt the long walk route to reach CM’s post.

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