The proverbial problem of plenty applies to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) these days. While the Opposition in Uttar Pradesh looks to be struggling, the unending influx of members from other parties to the BJP has raised the party’s political quotient no doubt. But it has also created much uncertainty among local leaders. While the state leadership prominently plays up high-profile inductees in press conferences and public meetings, committed party workers fear losing out on lucrative assignments and during ticket distribution for the forthcoming by-elections. Although no one would speak publicly on the contentious issue, second- and third-rung leaders can be found venting their “genuine concerns” to the media whenever they get a chance.
Picture of honour
India (and Bengal) is celebrating the fact that a second Indian economist has won a Nobel Prize but in another corner of a foreign field another well-known economist, who played a significant role in the economic reform programme, is being honoured in a unique way. Shankar Acharya, who served as Chief Economic Advisor to the government of India from 1993 to 2001, is part of a select group of 30 “inspirational” members of faculty, students and general staff at Keble College, Oxford, whose photos are on display in the Main Hall of the college as part of its 150th anniversary celebrations. The photo exhibition will be on display for 15 months — that is, till the end of 2020. The photograph, which portrays Dr Acharya, a Business Standard columnist, in one of his favourite maroon sweaters, was taken by the wife of another economist, Tim Harford, author of the popular book and website The Undercover Economist. Dr Acharya, whose penchant for jotting in pocket diaries and on the margins of Business Standard, exemplifies Keble College’s Victorian motto, “Plain Living and High Thinking,” graduated from Oxford in 1967.
BJP's Kerala woes
Electoral success continues to elude the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Kerala. The party’s electoral prospects are slim in the five Assembly constituencies going to the polls later this month owing to factors such as infighting and weak candidate selection. The BJP had come second in two of these five constituencies in the last Assembly polls. However, this time, the party has decided to experiment with new candidates. Moreover, the party has failed to turn the Sabarimala temple agitation to good account. Some voters are upset with it for not bringing in an Ordinance to overturn the Supreme Court judgment, which allowed women of all age groups to enter the temple premises.