What is the difference between the two major Dravidian political parties in Tamil Nadu? The answer is not that one has one leader (M K Stalin), while the other has two (Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam). It is that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a Congress ally, says it will implement whatever it says in its election manifesto for the Lok Sabha election, while the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), a BJP ally, says it would "pressurise" the new central government to execute its election promises. Observers also point out that while the two don't see eye to eye on many issues, they have made many common promises in their respective manifesto such as the promise to abolish the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test and the release of all seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
In search of ticket
It is the ticket distribution season, and there are all kinds of aspirants, or "ticketarthis" as they are called in Hindi, queueing up to meet the leaders of political parties. A television journalist whose father represented the Congress from Uttar Pradesh's Maharajganj constituency in the Lok Sabha in 2009 is seeking the Congress ticket. After Manish Khanduri, son of senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader B C Khanduri, joined the party, the Congress could have Amrita Pandey, related to BJP UP chief Mahendranath Pandey joining the party on Wednesday. Amrita is the daughter-in-law of Pandey's brother. In Uttar Pradesh, ticket aspirants from the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party likely to be denied the ticket by their respective parties because of the alliance are looking to the BJP and the Congress. In the BJP, some sitting MPs fear they might not be renominated by the party and are looking to the Congress.
Kishor and Kumar
It seems Janata Dal (United) Vice-President and political strategist Prashant Kishor (pictured) is facing severe opposition in his own party. The old guards of the party are angry that a relative newbie to the party, who has no experience of working at the grassroots, has been given charge of party ticket distribution in the state. The situation is so bad that every move of Kishor, big or small, is being scrutinised with a fine-tooth comb at every gathering of party leaders. Some leaders, who have got the ears of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, are seen complaining against Kishor's alleged "high-handedness" from time to time.