The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which claims to be the world’s largest political party, has started member verification in Madhya Pradesh to check the background of its recent recruits. When on the previous occasion the party opened its door to new members via a missed call, people joined the BJP in large numbers. These new candidates were taken in a hurry without proper verification. Later, it turned out that many of them had criminal cases against them. Now the state unit has appointed a three-member team to scan the membership registers and identify those with a tainted past.
Loyal but ignored
After actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar quit the Congress on Tuesday, the growing disgruntlement in the party ranks became even more palpable. Many leaders pointed out how the party ignored loyal workers. Matondkar joined the Congress in March this year and within days of joining, she got the party ticket to fight the election from the Mumbai North seat, but she lost. Some pointed out that while Matondkar got the ticket, loyal workers like Priyanka Chaturvedi had to quit the party after being overlooked. A couple of Congressmen took to Twitter to bemoan their party’s priorities. “People who have loyally stood by any party tend to get overlooked in favour of political tourists,” tweeted C R Kesavan, a former spokesperson of the party, on Tuesday. “We are political refugees, always overlooked for short-term gains,” replied Pradyot Deb Barman, who heads the Congress’ Tripura unit.
Together we can
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar met Congress President Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on Tuesday to finalise seat-sharing between the two parties for the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly polls due in October. According to sources, the two leaders agreed that the NCP could contest 104 and Congress 111 seats, and the two parties would soon take a call on the remaining 73. They would allot seats to smaller allies from their respective shares. The NCP wanted to contest 144 seats, but has faced regular desertions from its ranks to the Shiv Sena. This has strengthened the Sena’s bargaining power with the Bharatiya Janata Party, its ally. The Sena wants to contest 135 seats and the BJP an equal number. That leaves the remaining 18 seats for their smaller allies, the Republican Party of India (Athawale), Rashtriya Samaj Paksh and Shiv Sangram Party. In 2014, the four big parties had contested separately.