The Assembly polls in Bihar are a year away. There is speculation in Patna and Delhi whether the alliance between the Janata Dal (United), or JD(U), and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will remain until then. Recent comments by election strategist Prashant Kishor, who is also vice-president of the JD(U), on the National Register of Citizens have further roiled the waters. The BJP’s Nityanand Rai, currently a minister of state at the Centre, could be its face for the polls if Kumar were to exit. Sources in the BJP, however, reject the possibility of Kumar walking out of the alliance. On the other side of the spectrum, there is much jousting within the Opposition ranks to be designated the chief ministerial candidate. Leaders like Tejashwi Yadav, Upendra Kushwaha and Jitan Ram Manjhi are all aspirants. On its part, the Congress is playing the wait and watch game.
Campaigning for the Haryana Assembly polls is set to begin with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s (pictured) public meeting in Rohtak on September 8. It is being billed as his first eco-friendly public rally where the use of “single-use plastic” would be kept to a minimum. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) flags will be made of cloth. No plastic bottles will be used to carry/distribute water; as many as 10,000 matkas, or earthen pots, have been arranged for the purpose. The use of plastic to erect the stage will also be minimal. The BJP won all the 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana in the Lok Sabha election and hopes to repeat the performance in the Assembly polls. Modi’s rally will mark the culmination of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s 22-day campaign across the state. Rohtak is the stronghold of Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
Basking in wife’s glory
Uttar Pradesh minister Sidharth Nath Singh, who has served as the national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in an earlier stint, has a way with words. He chose to keep the record intact while sharing an anecdote at an MSME conclave in Lucknow. Singh, who recently shifted from the state health to the MSME ministry, said just because he was the head of the state health ministry, people had started prefixing “Dr” to his name. While he wasn't a doctor, the bespectacled Singh observed that he was nonetheless happy to bask in reflected glory. His wife is a physician.