Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar visited Delhi recently and paid a courtesy call on the president and vice president. He also met opposition leaders, notably Rahul Gandhi, whom he is apparently advising nowadays. Nitish has assured Rahul of his support in the 2024 General Election and is also trying to build an alliance between Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy and Congress for the Karnataka Assembly polls in 2023. There are also enough straws in the wind to suggest that Nitish has advised Rahul to take on the mantle of Congress president again.
In Rajasthan, former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot recently celebrated his birthday. He wanted to keep it low-key as he was bound for Kanyakumari on his birthday to participate in Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra. So, he invited his friends a day in advance to his Jaipur house. That day, however, witnessed a mammoth turnout of Congressmen at his residence—to wish him—all because tongues are wagging that he could become chief minister in case incumbent Ashok Gehlot were made Congress president.
At Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal’s house, there was a Ganesh puja and a small get-together. Several RSS and BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were present. But there was also the odd guest, namely Deepender Singh Hooda, son of former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Interestingly, Hooda Sr has been actively supporting Congress rebels and is a member of the G23 lobby.
BJP Eyes BMC
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) election is round the corner and over the last 25 years, Shiv Sena has ruled the roost at BMC pipping the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in every election. Simultaneously, municipal polls will be held in Thane and Pune. But BJP is confident this time. After the split in Shiv Sena, Uddhav Thackeray is not calling the shots. Union Home Minister Amit Shah was recently in Mumbai on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. After visiting the temple, Shah is said to have met Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Is there a grand strategy at work?
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is a no-nonsense leader. He’s on a mission to demolish madrasas in the state that have a connection to Islamic fundamentalism. There have been intelligence reports that some madrasas in Assam have become hubs of Islamic terror and are also ISI sympathisers. So, Sarma is pulling out all the stops to crush terror not only in Assam but throughout the Northeast.