Winner takes all
In Rajasthan, politicians closely follow the betting market of Phalodi in Jodhpur. This market is considered reliable and immune to extraneous influences. There were some worries in the Congress when, after the ticket distribution, the betting market lowered the number of seats that the party might win. If the betters were unwilling to give in excess of 50 seats to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) until then, the infighting in the Congress made them revise the BJP's tally to 70 of the 200 seats. Congress leaders pointed out their party would still be winning comfortably but there were nerves that the series of public meetings in the state addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi could again increase the BJP's tally to make it a closer contest. Both the parties were equally concerned about the margin of victory since a big win for one party is likely to affect the Lok Sabha outcome in the state.
Who is fighting whom
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) became the unwitting target of a fight within the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) over the weekend. First, Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal (pictured) criticised AAP MLA Somnath Bharti for allegedly using objectionable language against a television anchor. After she tweeted “I strongly feel people in public life should control their anger”, Maliwal was trolled by her own party members. Bharti hit back saying she had formed her opinion about him watching a 20-second video. Another AAP leader, Raghav Chadha, urged Maliwal to also seek “swift action against politicians from the ruling party at the Centre” if and when they err. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal joined the chorus, seeking swift action against BJP leaders.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati has a problem. She has alleged that organisations like Bhim Army and Bahujan Youth for Mission 2019-Next PM Bahan-ji have been raising funds in the name of her party and on the promise of making behenji (a sobriquet for Mayawati) prime minister after the next Lok Sabha polls. The allegation comes days after an FIR was filed against a former national vice-president of the BSP, Jai Prakash Singh, who was reportedly collecting funds for an outfit he had floated recently. Mayawati said “such people” were working for "our opposition from behind the curtain". Singh was expelled reportedly after he called Congress president Rahul Gandhi “unfit” for the office of India’s PM and also called Prime Minister Narendra Modi “Gabbar Singh”.