Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad (pictured) is expected to unveil his political party during an event in Delhi on Sunday, the birth anniversary of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) founder, Kanshi Ram. Among the names shortlisted for the political outfit are Azad Samaj Party, Azad Bahujan Party, and Bahujan Awam Party. The name will be finalised after the Election Commission gives its approval, said party sources. The party is also expected to release its manifesto and launch a membership drive on Sunday. Besides, the Bhim Army has launched a students’ wing — Bhim Army Students’ Federation. After the new political party is launched, the Bhim Army will work as a social and cultural organisation, sources said. Significantly, BSP leader Mayawati is said to be keeping a close watch on the activities of Azad.
Another blow to Congress
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Thursday announced its candidates for two Rajya Sabha seats in Bihar, making clear the growing tension between it and the Congress, which is its ally and has been demanding one of the seats. Its candidates for two of the five seats, that will fall vacant, are Prem Chand Gupta and Amarendra Dhari Singh. Gupta is a close aide of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav and currently a member of the Upper House of Parliament from neighbouring Jharkhand. His term expires next month. He had served as a Cabinet minister in the UPA government of 2004-09. For his part, Singh is a well-known entrepreneur based in Patna and his surprise candidature is being seen by many as an attempt by the RJD to win over the upper castes ahead of the Bihar Assembly polls due later this year.
Amid the political crisis in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress-led government has transferred some key IAS officers who were posted in areas where Jyotiraditya Scindia, who has moved to the BJP, has influence. Guna Collector Bhaskar Lakshkar and his Gwalior counterpart Anurag Choudhary have been transferred as deputy secretary in different departments. Vidisha Collector Kaushlendra Vikram Singh has been transferred to Gwalior. S Vishwnathan has been appointed the Guna Collector. The order on these transfers says these are temporary and “till further orders only”. Scindia might have had an inkling of this. A few hours before these transfers were announced, he had said, “Transfer is an industry in Madhya Pradesh.”