Samajwadi Party leader and former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav got into a little scrap with the state administration over the weekend after video clips started circulating on social media showing the government bungalow he had vacated was damaged. The estate department of UP reacted by saying it would check the inventory and if it was found that the damages were done intentionally, it would serve a notice to the former occupant. On its part, the Samajwadi Party said the video clips were aimed at tarnishing the image of its chief as his popularity was growing after the party's success in the recent by-elections.
After winning an election at 92 and becoming the prime minister of his country, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has become a role model for some of our ageing politicians with prime ministerial ambitions. On Saturday, Janata Dal (Secular) leader Danish Ali was asked whether his party chief, former PM, H D Deve Gowda, could follow the Malaysian PM's example and become the consensus PM in 2019. Ali said he was aware of such speculation in the social media and anybody in active political life, whatever their age, should never be ruled out. Not just Gowda, but former president Pranab Mukherjee and senior BJP leader L K Advani also have been quite active politically in recent weeks. Gowda is 85, Mukherjee is 82 and Advani 90.
Strife within RJD?
The Rashtriya Janata Dal might have just handed the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal (United) the lever they had been looking for in the state. With Tejashwi emerging as the heir apparent of Lalu Prasad in the RJD, elder brother Tej Pratap seems to be losing patience. He has alleged that Tejashwi has allowed anti-social elements to infiltrate the party and that some senior leaders were being given party positions after much dilly-dallying. As his outburst began to circulate, Tej Pratap issued a clarification on Twitter saying, "Tejashwi is the apple of my eyes. Don't try to create differences between us by spreading these rumours."