Former footballer Bhaichung Bhutia will formally launch his political party this week. Bhaichung’s Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) will be launched on May 31 at a remote village, Daramdin, in West Sikkim in the presence of his 20,000-odd supporters. While announcing the name of the party in April 26, Bhaichung had said he doesn’t want be the president and that a “clean person” would helm it.
HSP is unlikely to announce the name of its president this week either. HSP’s stated aim is to challenge the Sikkim Democratic Front, which has been ruling the state for close to 25 years..
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Santiniketan last week. Over the four hours they shared a stage at an event, they discussed two great poets, Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam, and read out poems, while Hasina also spoke at length about her father and Bangladesh founder Mujibur Rehman. None of them raked up the contentious Teesta water sharing issue that has remained unresolved for years. Of course, there was a mention of water in the end — the lack of drinking water at the venue. “On my way to this venue for the convocation, students were indicating they wanted water. As the chancellor I apologise for all inconveniences,” PM Modi said.
Out of the woods
Just before the 2004 general elections Sonia Gandhi had driven to BSP supremo Mayawati's Delhi home to offer her a bouquet of flowers on her birthday. Days later, Mayawati launched a frontal attack on Sonia, accusing her neglecting Dalits. No wonder the Sonia-Maya hug at the swearing-in ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy as Karnataka Chief Minister on May 23 has given rise to much speculation about Maya's role in the anti-BJP alliance that Opposition parties are looking to sew up. Some have started looking at her as a PM candidate in the 2019 General Elections. For all practical purposes, Mayawati has emerged out of her political hibernation.