With the initial euphoria wearing off, some uneasiness can now be discerned in Lucknow, where people are still waiting for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to hold his first cabinet meeting. Although he was sworn in on March 19 along with the ministers, the talk is that cabinet is yet to meet because the Yogi Government is unsure how to go about fulfilling a rash of promises BJP leaders had made during the assembly election campaign. While ordering the formation of anti-Romeo squads and closure of illegal abattoirs were relatively easy, the farmers’ loan waiver appears to have tied the cabinet in knots. It was to be waived at the very first cabinet meeting, people had repeatedly been told during the campaign. It would be a loss of face if the Yogi fails to pull it off. Hence the delay, it is explained.
The Prime Minister is leaving nothing to chance. If the buzz in Gandhinagar is to be believed, he has assured his loyalists that he would be visiting Gandhinagar twice every month to personally oversee preparations for the assembly election due later this year. The PM is also learnt to have attended a ‘secret meeting’ of 18 trusted men, three of them from the high profile think-tank India Foundation. Shaurya Doval, son of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, was also one of them. And at least some of the invited were specifically told to arrive in hired cabs and under assumed names. During the brainstorming, one of the attendees apparently raised the issue of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) making some dents. The PM apparently fixed him with a frosty stare and a terse reply that he need not worry about AAP.
Photographs of a beaming Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alongside his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar notwithstanding, the decision of Janata Dal (United) to jump into the fray in the municipal elections in Delhi has foxed observers. The Bihar CM is also learnt to have held an informal meeting with over 100 candidates that the party has fielded and has promised that he would be campaigning for them. JD(U) fielding so many candidates will effectively make it a four-cornered contest with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) expected to reap the harvest of ‘split’ votes. While JD(U) hopes to garner votes of Delhi people who hail from ‘Poorvanchal’, it will cut into votes that would otherwise have gone to either AAP or to the Congress, with which JD(U) runs a coalition government in Bihar. But a senior JD(U) leader sought to explain it by claiming that the JD(U) would be cutting into the votes of the BJP.
While photographs of the Prime Minister holding the hand of Mulayam Singh Yadav, who is seen craning his neck and whispering into the PM’s ears at the swearing in of the Uttar Pradesh government are still being talked about, there is another buzz of a secret meeting between MSY and top Bahujan Samaj Party leader Satish Mishra. While there is no official confirmation, it is generally agreed that Mishra would not have met MSY without Behenji Mayawati’s approval. Lucknow is agog with MSY proposing a merger of the two parties before the 2019 election. Mishra is said to have voiced his apprehension over the role of Amar Singh.
A comrade at Ajoy Bhavan appeared incensed at reports on the austere life of the new UP chief minister. “Does the Yogi get the AC switched off in his Mercedes too in which he travels”, he wondered aloud while reading reports about how the Yogi had ordered soft beds out of the chief minister’s residence. The old man scoffed at the reports, pointing out that communist leaders like Sudhakar Reddy stands in a self-service queue for his lunch and washes the plate after eating. Yogi ji, match that, he seemed to say!
A report in the Organiser claims that the year has been conclusively established to be 7323 BC by ‘Planetarium software’. The Indian Express commented on Tuesday that the article also says the Institute of Scientific Study of the Vedas (I-SERVE) had earlier fixed Lord Ram’s birth on January 10 in the year 5411 BC by using “technology used by NASA”.