Senior leaders in the Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are still racking their brains to strike up an alliance for the upcoming Assembly polls in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh as also for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra recently met Congress party’s Ahmed Patel to convey to him that party chief Mayawati wants the Congress party to give as many as 39 Lok Sabha seats to her party in six states — Haryana, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The Congress has expressed its inability to share such a large number, given the BSP’s historically poor performance in these states. Mayawati’s calculation is that apart from the Congress, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Trinamool Congress, given their ability to sweep their respective states of Tamil Nadu and Bengal, will emerge kingmaker post-2019.
Going back on going green
A section of bureaucrats at Udyog Bhawan, that houses the ministry of commerce, heavy Industries and textiles among others, seems unimpressed by the Prime Minister’s go green initiative. Three years ago, the government had mandated that all central government buildings should have environmental-friendly LED bulbs only. It appears some officials have “officially” requested that the old-style incandescent bulbs be reintroduced because they have a “more festive glow”.
The irony of the situation was not lost on the support staff at the office complex. On learning about the request, a staff member remarked, "but no one ever comes to office on a national holiday! So why do they need a festive glow in office?”
Message in the sky
Just like Durga Puja in Kolkata, kite motif in the run up to the Independence Day is a good way to gauge the political mood of the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been a central feature in kites that were bought and sold in major cities over the past few years. In an interesting twist this year, in Delhi’s Lal Kuan, a major kite-making hub in the older part of the city, one could spot kites this year that had the picture of Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi, facing each other with the word mahasangram (battle royale) written across the bottom. By this time next year, the results of that mahasangram will, hopefully, be clear.