Stalin in protective custody
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president M.K. Stalin had been taken into preventive custody for joining the 'Rail Roko Agitation' at Chennai's Mambalam as protests over the lifting of the ban on the bull taming sport Jallikattu escalated. The DMK workers, in huge numbers voiced their support for Jallikattu. While holding the ' Rail Roko agitation', headed by Stalin, the DMK workers halted a train at Mambalam Railway Station by lying down on the railway tracks. Stalin was protesting at the Mambalam Railway Station. DMK MP Kanimozhi also held protests at Chennai's Egmore railway station in support of Jallikattu. Meanwhile, in Rameswaram shops had been shut down supporting the cause. Protestors said the would not leave the Marina Beach till the ordinance lifting the ban was passed as the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister had said that within two days an ordinance would be brought & Jallikattu would be organised. A strike call had been given by traders, truckers and van and taxi operators, and private schools in many districts including Chennai had announced a holiday today.
Samajwadi Party – Congress alliance
The Samajwadi Party had termed its alliance with Congress Party as a big challenge, adding that it would help to contest the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections in a positive and sincere manner. "Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had said this earlier also that if a party is willing to work for Uttar Pradesh's development, support Samjawadi Party and have similar views as us, then SP can form an alliance with it. It is a big challenge to work with such a grand alliance," SP leader Juhi Singh told the media. She further said that the alliance had been formed not because the Samajwadi Party was weak but to work with the Congress for development of the state. Ending speculation Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that his party would enter into an alliance with the Samajwadi Party for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls under the leadership of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav ha also confirmed that the party would lock itself in a pre-poll alliance with the Congress. Meanwhile, Congress leader Sheila Dikshit, who had been named as the Chief Ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh polls, withdrew her name stating that there could not be two chief ministerial faces in case of an alliance.
N.D. Tiwari and son joining Bharatiya Janata Party
Former Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and a senior Congress leader, Narayan Dutt Tiwari along with his son Rohit Shekhar would be joining the Bharatiya Janata Party. The media reported that Tiwari wanted a BJP ticket for his son from Kumaon region of Uttarakhand and therefore was all set to change his loyalty. The 91 year old leader was thrice the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh (1976-77, 1984-85, 1988-89) and once the chief minister of Uttarakhand (2002-2007).
Akhilesh Yadav gets the cycle
The Election Commission had backed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in his battle for control of the Samajwadi Party, a feud Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted to exploit in the Assembly eletions. The Commission ruled that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav could use the party name and symbol, and not patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. The group "led by Shri Akhilesh Yadav is the Samajwadi Party and is entitled to use its name and its reserved symbol 'Bicycle'," the Commission said in its judgment. A party split would have played into the hands of the BJP, which was campaigning hard to win the state. Victory would help Modi eventually control the upper house of parliament, where he lacked a majority, and give him momentum as he prepared to seek a second term in national elections in 2019.