Poll strategist Prashant Kishor will now manage the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s (DMK's) strategy in the run-up to the 2021 Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu. Kishor had managed the election campaigns of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in 2015, and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in 2017. He also boosted the campaign for the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress Party, or YSRCP, in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly election last year. The political strategist’s work with the Congress for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election was unsuccessful, with the party winning just seven seats in the state and losing all four in Amethi, Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency then.
Budget sparks ahead
Opposition parties on Sunday busied themselves with selecting their speakers for debate in Parliament on the Budget and also on the motion of thanks on the President’s address. The government could face embarrassment on the President’s speech, with the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPI(M), proposing amendments to it. The CPI(M) has furnished proof that the President misquoted Mahatma Gandhi on giving citizenship to Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan. It is planning to bring an amendment, which the rest of the Opposition is set to support. The CPI(M) has verified the quote from the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, the most authoritative source of Gandhi’s speeches, statements, and writings. The Trinamool Congress has picked Abhishek Banerjee as its lead speaker on the debate on the Budget in the Lok Sabha and Manas Bhunia in the Rajya Sabha, while on the motion of thanks on the President’s address, the party will field Saugata Roy and Mahua Moitra in the Lok Sabha, and Sukhendu Sekhar Ray in the Rajya Sabha. The Congress is expected to be led by P Chidambaram in the Rajya Sabha in the debate on the Budget.
The expansion of the Karnataka cabinet on February 6 will be far from being a cakewalk for Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa (pictured). It has been postponed several times. Yediyurappa had made it clear that all the 11 who had revolted against the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) government, leading to its fall, and then got re-elected in the bypolls on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket, will be made ministers. But sources say the central leadership is not keen on inducting all of them and wants to give old BJP hands a berth in the cabinet. It will not be an easy task for the chief minister who has to ensure adequate representation to various castes and regions in his cabinet.