With less than two and a half years left for the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress have upped the ante against the ruling dispensation, but the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership is drawing succour from the fact that the two main opposition parties are trying to hobble each other in their bid to position themselves as the "main opposition party". On its own, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is in no position to put up a fight. The SP and the BSP, which came together for the Lok Sabha polls, broke off their alliance because of an unexpectedly poor performance. In the recent by-polls, the SP bagged three seats while the BSP logged zero. The Congress, though failing to open its account, did better than the BSP. It finished second in two seats and was a close third in five. The party ascribed this to the recent rejig of the party's state unit. The SP has already declared that going solo in the recent by-polls worked in its favour and nothing can stop it from regaining lost ground if it followed the same formula.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Rahul Narvekar, an MLA from Mumbai's Colaba Assembly constituency, landed up briefly at the Yashwantrao Chavan Centre at Nariman Point, where the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) was holding its meeting to decide on its strategy relating to the Maharashtra impasse. Narvekar left immediately, telling journalists who had been waiting outside that his driver had mistakenly brought the car there. Narvekar was formerly with the NCP. He had joined the NCP after quitting the Shiv Sena. His father was in the Shiv Sena, and his father-in-law is in the NCP.
A leading Hindi news channel, in its zeal to capture the sentiment after the Supreme Court's Ayodhya verdict, took it upon itself to "manufacture" the sentiment. A camera person of the channel was seen egging on the crowd gathered in the media lawns of the Supreme Court to follow his cue and chant Jai Shri Ram. As many joined in, the court precincts reverberated with the religious chant. Of course, it was not the journalists alone — earlier, some sadhus had also given a shout out to Ram as they entered the premises — but their on cue performance surely made for great prime time television.