Congress' pecuniary woes
The Congress party’s funds crunch has meant it has to adopt novel ways to raise money. In Haryana, with the state unit’s coffers nearly empty, the party is asking all ticket aspirants to donate money. The Haryana Assembly polls are going to be held on October 21. Ticket aspirants from the general category have been asked to contribute Rs 5,000 to be considered for a party ticket, while those from the Scheduled Caste category have been asked to pay Rs 2,000. Ticket aspirants, 900 to 1,000, are in the race for tickets for the 90 assembly seats, and the state unit is hoping to raise at least Rs 50 lakh. Only recently, Tarun Bhandari, state unit treasurer, had issued notices to legislators and former legislators to contribute a month's salary or pension in a year. Barely a handful complied. The party hopes the money from ticket aspirants would take care of at least the day-to-day expenses of running party offices in the state.
Time for action
The announcement of dates by the Election Commission for bypolls to nearly a dozen Uttar Pradesh Assembly seats has led to frenetic political activity in Lucknow. Ticket hopefuls of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have started to lobby for nomination to seats of their choice. Most of these seats had fallen vacant after incumbent legislators were elected to the Lok Sabha in the 2019 general elections. It appears that many turncoats and a few sitting opposition legislators are also seeking the saffron party ticket. Recently, three Samajwadi Party legislators called upon Chief Minister Adityanath (pictured). While they termed it a courtesy call, the meeting created a flutter within the SP, and caused much consternation among BJP leaders who were vying for the ticket for the seats the SP MLAs represented.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is planning to intensify its outreach in the run-up to its Viajayadashami celebrations. Every year, the RSS marks Vijayadashami, or Dussehra, as its foundation day. The highlight of the event every year is a speech by the RSS chief. Leading up to the event this year, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat will unveil a book titled The RSS: Roadmaps for the 21st Century, written by Sunil Ambekar. Ambedkar is a senior RSS leader and organising secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the students’ wing of the RSS. The book discusses, among other things, the RSS' views on issues like homosexuality. Bhagwat will also meet journalists of foreign newspapers posted in India on September 24 in the national capital.