The Jharkhand unit of the Janata Dal United [JD(U)] has announced it will fight the upcoming Assembly election (due in October-November) on its own, minus the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). While it is still too early to speculate what effect this might have on the outcome of the elections, the broader indication is clear — that all is not well between the alliance partners. The JD(U) did not support the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) move on Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
Interestingly, this announcement came after the JD(U) chief in the state, Sulkhan Murmu, held consultations with party chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (pictured) and party strategist Prashant Kishore. He said the party will try and contest all 81 Assembly seats on its own. Kumar will himself launch the campaign later in August.
With Ashok Malik having resigned as the press secretary to the President, the hunt is on for his successor. Two members of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) are supposed to have been in the running, but as one of them vehemently denied ever having been in the race, clearly the game is still open. Obviously, it is not the President of India who will exercise his choice in the appointment but the Prime Minister and Home Minister. From available indications, it seems the final choice is pending.