RJD’s gen-next crisis
The prolonged absence of Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejashvi Prasad Yadav — sons of jailed Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) President Lalu Prasad — from their home turf of Bihar could not have come at a worse time. The party’s recruitment drive, launched on August 10 in Patna, was a no-show with the two brothers or their sister Misa Bharti not turning up. Not only was the response to the openings in the RJD tepid, the party was unable to fill half the 200 chairs at the venue. While Tej Pratap was in Jharkhand’s Deoghar, observing Saavan festivities before his return to Patna on Sunday, Tejashvi was said to be in Delhi in connection with some court cases he and his father were facing. Party leaders were seen murmuring their displeasure at the conduct of the second generation of politicians in the Yadav family.
Focus on small industry woes
The Laghu Udyog Bharati, which represents the interests of small-scale industries and is an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has completed 25 years. Founded in April 1994, the outfit will have its silver jubilee celebrations in Nagpur for three days starting August 16. Its chief, Jitendra Gupta, said on Monday an estimated 2,500 small businesspersons from 450 districts in the country would attend the celebrations, to be addressed by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat; Union ministers Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal, and Santosh Gangwar; and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Gupta was restrained in criticising the government as he announced the programme, but said it was of concern that current policies had encouraged trade and ignored the manufacturing sector, particularly small-scale and micro industries, after the implementation of the goods and services tax. The outfit will put forward the concerns of small and micro enterprises at the three-day session.
From hope to reality
Since assuming power last December, the Kamal Nath-led government in Madhya Pradesh has repeatedly accused the Central government of not releasing its share of funds under various central schemes. These “pending” funds include a major amount under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, or MGNREGS. At the beginning of the current fiscal year, the state was to receive funds amounting to Rs 700 crore under the MGNREGS from the Centre. The state government has maintained that the pendency is hurting the rural population of the state. Minister of Panchayat and Rural Development Kamleshwar Patel is planning his second visit to New Delhi to make another bid for the release of this money. During his last visit, he managed to get some assurance; he hopes the next one will yield something more tangible.