A Wife to the Rescue
The fight between BSP leader Mayawati and the Uttar Pradesh BJP Vice- President Dayashankar Singh initially appeared to have put the BJP totally in a tight spot as the Rajya Sabha proceedings showed.
Almost every member of the Upper House, beginning with the leader of the house, Arun Jaitley condemned the statement of Dayashankar Singh and the BJP also expelled the errant member for six years from the party.
However the rally organised by BSP supporters in Lucknow the next day by ebullient supporters of the Behenji turned the tide against the BSP. The kind of slogans raised at the rally brought out the worst part of the party which boasts that its chief had ruled the most populous state of the country four times.
Much of the credit for changing the scenario into a sympathy wave for the beleaguered BJP leader Dayashankar Singh goes to his wife Swati Singh who has proved to be quite a fighter despite being called a housewife by the condescending anchors of various new channels.
Now that the BSP leaders have targeted Swati and her 12 year old daughter who is undergoing psychiatric treatment this fight is turning out to be real one where the underdog has turned into an aggressive leader.
Swati is using her housewife tag to her advantage on debates on the channels and now we also know that she is also a law graduate.
She knows the provisions under which Dayashankar Singh is charged but she also knows POCSO (the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) 2012, which most channels called POSCO because it sounds more familiar.
Bring a lawyer she knows that POCSO is much stronger than the SC Act which is normally difficult to prove.
Pitted against so many spokespersons of various parties Swati Singh is proving quite a debater and the election bound state where women are going to figure in a big way this time.
This time round the Congress has already taken the lead by fielding Sheila Dikshit and possibly Priyanka Gandhi in a much bigger role. The BSP has of course got Mayawati, as its mascot.
The BJP would most likely not field its high decibel campaigner Smriti Irani in a big way in the UP elections, given the present indications.Swati Singh with her vital caste credentials and the added advantage of playing the victim card could prove to be the trump card of the BJP in the UP election fray.
Sidhu’s Past to be Made Present
Even as people were getting ready to enjoy the famous Sidhuisms as the cricketer- cum- commentator- cum- comedy show judge Navjot Singh Sidhu broke his political silence in style, sources admit this parting is going to be bitter.
The dashing opener of the Indian cricket team has a glorious cricketing history which cricket buffs remember well.
But the same Sidhu also has a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against him in 1988 when in case of road rage he allegedly killed a motorcyclist who had an altercation with him.
An FIR registered on December 27, 1988 alleged that Sidhu and Bhupinder Singh Sandhu hit Gurnam Singh after dragging him out his car when he objected to the Marui Gypsy (PAD-6030) blocking his way.
Patiala district and session judge had acquitted Sidhu in September 1999 of the charge of causing death to Gurnam Singh following a scuffle. The Punjab government went to the High Court challenging the lower court verdict.
A division bench comprising Justices Mehtab Singh Gill and Baldev Singh found 43-year-old Sidhu guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and fixed December 6 for pronouncing the quantum of sentence.
Public Prosecutor Vinod Ghai had said that Sidhu had admitted to the crime at the time of occurrence and that he had no enmity with the deceased.
Both were sentenced to three-year rigorous imprisonment each, along with Rs 1lakh fine.
Sidhu appealed against the verdict in the Supreme Court, which suspended the high court verdict on January 23, 2007. The present Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had appeared for Sidhu in the Supreme Court in 2006.
But now that Sidhu has openly attacked the BJP saying that the Modi wave had sunk his political career, sources from Punjab say that the BJP itself might encourage the family of Gurman Singh yo reopen the case in the Supreme Court.
Will Anandiben be made Governor?
Modi's coming to the centre as Prime Minister seems to have left his home state Gujarat, in a state of coma.
His chosen successor Anandiben Patel seemed to have enjoyed the goodwill generated by the former Chief Minister Narendra Modi's aggressive campaign of 2014 but within two years the magic is wearing off.
Hardik Patel a BJP supporter who raised the banner of revolt lost his stridency and public support after he was put in jail with sedition charges slapped on him.But that temporary reprieve is over and he is back as a more determined fighter.
To add to the worries of Anandiben the issue of the cruelty towards Dalits in the land of the Mahatma has taken an absolutely alarming turn.
It is no longer a Gujarat issue, because added to other incidents of the victimisation of Dalits across the country beginning with the infamous Rohith Vemula suicide in Hyderabad it raises questions that were never raised before.
A Modi confidante Om Prakash Mathur has already submitted his report on the prestigious state which is believed to have suggested an overhaul of the administrative set up.That was in May. It has also been suggested that if Anandiben is replaced as a face saver she could be accommodated as Governor.
The Congress has not yet opened its cards in Gujarat which goes to polls in 2017 though it must be elated by the success in the local elections.What must have given it further boost was a statement by Hardik Patel whose saffron leanings were totally demolished after his incarceration under sedition charges that the next government in the state would be formed by the Congress. And of course, his praise for Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal who will be contesting the elections in Gujarat as well.
Swamy and Rajan on the same page
The high profile RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan may have quit his post in disgust after being hit below the belt by Subramanian Swamy but he has not been silenced.
Even at the time he volunteered not to opt for a second term as his three year term comes to an end on September 4, he had promised that he had not left the fight and that he was not leaving India.
Talking to a select group of journalists recently he again showed that he had not lost his fire or his conviction when he told his critics to prove that the dismal picture of the economy he mentions is false, and that as per their claims inflation was indeed low.
“I am not sure where we are behind the curve. You have to tell me that somehow inflation is very low for us to be seen as behind the curve,” he said.
The consumer inflation is currently near its two-year high and close to the upper end of the central bank’s inflation target of two per cent to six per cent.
However his arch rival Swamy himself is not convinced by the figures doled out by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who is trying to prove that all is well and inflation is under control.
After a public rebuke by the Prime Minister Swamy had volunteered to be off Tweets for one week but not before taking a swipe at Finance Minister, saying: “If I apply Samuelson-Swamy Theory of Index Numbers to India’s GDP calculation or RBI interest rates,media will scream anti party activity!”
The Indian voter who is more interested in personalities rather than statistics may not make sense of the economics but will see the irony of both Swamy and Rajan questioning the competence of Arun Jaitley that the PM seems to share, judging from the results of the recent cabinet reshuffle.