Of political colours, conflicts and contradictions

OFF THE RECORD

Naidu’s house, Jagan’s colours

The new style in Andhra Pradesh is painting everything with green, white and blue — the three colours of the ruling YSR Congress party flag. The village secretariats, burial grounds and the subsidised food catering centres — all got these three colours in an effort to erase the “yellow legacy” of the Telugu Desam Party. However, when the issue of painting the village Panchayats with the YSRC Party colours came up at the Krishna district review meeting, tempers flared up leading to a warning by YSRCP legislator Jogi Ramesh to TDP MLC Y B Rajendraprasad. “We will paint Nara Chandrababu Naidu’s house with YSRCP colours. Is there anything you can do about that?” Ramesh asked.

The ruling party lawmaker also warned the Opposition party MLC of a physical attack, if he continued to talk about the cancellation of next phase of farmers’ loan-waivers, and effectively made him sit quietly for the rest of the review meeting.

JBS Umanadh, Amaravati

 

Scindia at it again

Jyotiraditya Scindia has once again started showing rebellious streak. Last month, his supporters’ statements had fuelled speculations about Scindia quitting the Congress party, if not made party’s state chief. However, after Sonia Gandhi’s intervention, the former union minister calmed down, reaffirming allegiance to the party. The truce followed between him and Chief Minister Kamal Nath.

After a lull, scion of the erstwhile Gwalior royalty has fired fresh salvos at the Kamal Nath government. During the nine-day tour of his Gwalior-Chambal tour, Scindia questioned the efficacy of the state government’s loan waiver scheme, saying only the farmers having loans up to Rs 50,000 have benefitted and rest are still awaiting the complete loan waiver. Earlier, Scindia had openly expressed unhappiness over relief package to the flood-hit farmers. He also subtly hinted at hanky-panky in the transfers and postings of government officers.

Chief Minister Kamal Nath has chosen not to reply to Scindia’s barbs directly. Instead, his confidantes including PWD minister Sajjan Singh Verma, have “advised” Scindia to do an introspection and desist from destabilising the government.

Enthused by Scindia’s attacks on the government, the BJP has reportedly renewed its old offer for him to defect from the Congress party.

Rakesh Dixit, Bhopal

 

Winning the bout

The election campaign in Maharashtra is picking up steam in its last lap before the October 21 polls. The highlight of the campaign has been the verbal duel between Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and key challenger NCP supremo Sharad Pawar. Fadnavis used the wrestling idiom to declare that the BJP-Shiv Sena coalition is ready for a bout, but there was no one to challenge them. Pawar hit back saying that a bout is fought by wrestlers and not ‘such people’, making a gesture usually associated with a ‘pansy’ character in the folk art Tamasha. The gesture angered the BJP so much that Fadnavis hit back at Pawar saying he had never worked as a Natrang to make gestures like the NCP chief. Who wins the bout that the Maharashtra elections have turned into will be known on October 24th.

Sagar Kulkarni, New Delhi

 

Rafale back in poll campaigns

Rafale deal made a come back on the campaign trail after failing to enthuse voters during the Lok Sabha elections. Rahul Gandhi hit out at the BJP over the Rafale deal, insisting that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh flew to France to take delivery of the fight aircraft to undermine the sustained campaign against it launched by the Congress. Gandhi said the name Rafale stings and that was the reason the defence minister personally took delivery of the aircraft. A section of the Congress leadership believes that the sustained ‘chowkidar chor hai’ campaign over the Rafale deal actually ended up boosting Modi’s poll campaign. Will it be any different in the assembly elections, only time will tell.

Sagar Kulkarni, New Delhi

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