A long silence
Whatever happened to Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) rebel Pravin Togadia’s new political party? He first announced in June this year that he would launch a new party that would challenge both the Congress and the BJP. He warned politicians that in the next elections, voters will not forgive leaders who play with their emotions. When asked about Ram temple construction, he raised questions about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intentions saying that despite being in the power since 2014, he had failed to construct Ram temple in Ayodhya by introducing a law in Parliament. But no political party. And now, once again, a long silence. What’s going on?
Battle of seats
Sometimes, the most marginal become the headline. Take the Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), which won three seats from Bihar in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Kushwaha wants to contest five seats this time. But in the last election, Kushwaha got a lot of traction. This time, the Janata Dal United and the Bharatiya Janata Party are contesting the Lok Sabha elections together. In the process, Kushwaha is in danger of being marginalised altogether. As negotiations between the JDU and BJP on seat sharing are on, Kushwaha doesn’t seem to figure anywhere. Nitish Kumar has been advised by none other than Prashant Kishor that he himself should work to get that vote, not let Kushwaha walk away with it. The other option for Kushwaha is to jump fronts and join the Lalu Prasad family-led UPA front with the Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal. Tejashwi Yadav has offered him six seats. Kushwaha is weighing his options and is likely to take a decision after Diwali.