A new-look Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before the elections? Insiders say out of the 273 Lok Sabha Members of Parliament (MPs) from the party, nearly 50 per cent are going to be dropped in favour of new faces. This includes those who are above 75 and are not in good health. It is highly unlikely that LK Advani will represent Gandhi Nagar in Lok Sabha again as he is 90. There are question marks about other leaders too. Seems Sushma Swaraj too will not be repeated from Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh and could be nominated to the Rajya Sabha. Half a dozen other ministers in the union cabinet will also likely be dropped. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan (Indore) may retire in favour of her son. The way it looks now, one out of every two BJP MPs could be a new face.
By appointment only
Eyebrows are being raised at the swiftness with which Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s son K T Rama Rao got an appointment with the Prime Minister last week. Apparently, the PM told him to prepare papers to locate a steel plant in the state in Khammam district. The timing is important because parallely, a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP, CM Ramesh was on an extended fast unto death demanding the Centre set up a steel plant in Kadapa in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. A couple of days after KTR’s meeting, six TDP MPs tried to call on the PM and submit a memorandum regarding the Kadapa project, but they were not given an appointment . Meanwhile as his health deteriorated, Ramesh was persuaded to call off the fast by AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.