In a rare bonhomie, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Monday paid a visit to Samajwadi Party (SP) patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav at his residence on Vikramaditya Marg, Lucknow. The SP patriarch was admitted to hospital with high blood sugar. Adityanath took stock of Yadav’s health and gifted him a book on Kumbh, 2019. Yadav's son and former state Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his estranged uncle Shivpal were also present during Monday’s meeting. The latter's presence immediately gave rise to speculation there could be a rapprochement of sorts between Akhilesh and his uncle Shivpal. In any case, after the SP’s dismal performance in the recently concluded Lok Sabha election, Yadav had reportedly asked his son to ensure all senior leaders, who had left the party in recent years, must be back to its fold without delay.
Mallya faces crowd wrath
A video doing the rounds on social media shows beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya booed with chants of "chor hai (you are a thief)" as he watched the World Cup fixture between India and Australia at the Oval on Sunday. In one clip, a small crowd of people could be seen pushing and shoving as Mallya made his way out after the match. He could be seen answering back but his words were inaudible. Mallya is facing extradition — the 63-year-old left India in 2016 after defaulting on loans amounting to Rs 9,000 crore.
Call for unified leadership
After some All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) MLAs publicly criticised its dual leadership structure — led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and his Deputy O Panneerselvam —the two leaders have put a gag order on party leaders. A joint statement said: “Whoever wishes to express their views for the welfare of the AIADMK should utilise opportunities in the party — like the general and executive councils, besides consultative sessions.” But dual leadership is not new in the AIADMK. When former CM J Jayalalithaa was alive, the state administration was looked after by her, while her friend and close aide V K Sasikala took decisions on party affairs, including the appointment of ministers. After Jayalalithaa's demise, Sasikala tried to take overall control, but Palaniswamy and Panneerselvam joined hands and kept her and her family members, including nephew T T V Dhinakaran, out.