ByÂ Meghana Rathore:
With election activities heating and gearing up, amidst all the NaMo, RaGa debates, there are a few other faces too that cannot be ignored and can act as crucial game changers these elections. From people who are changing the face of Indian politics to those who are trying hard to retain their own positions, the following leaders belong to the much touted league.
He can best be defined as a public services veteran and is symbolic of the emerging idealist and aspirational political culture. The much touted and talked about, Lok Satta Party is his brainchild which thrives on the idea of “New politics for a new generation”. Jayaprakash Narayan enjoys a formidable reputation in Andhra Pradesh and all the success contributes to his hard and honest work as a public servant.
Some of his influential works that won him accolades locally, include strengthening credit cooperatives and making them independent of government control, empowerment of local governments and stakeholders. He is also known to have worked at national platforms e.g. for the National advisory Council, Second Administrative Reforms Commission, and the Vigilance Advisory Council. His party recently announced the novel “suggest your candidate” drive wherein people get to identify the potential candidates to represent them in the legislatures. Now, this is a real appreciated move since all the other parties dole out party tickets to the highest bidder.
The executive Committee meeting has been scheduled to be held on the 7th of March when the party would finalize its election strategy. There were speculations about a pre poll alliance of the Lok Satta party with AAP since these two have been faring on similar tangents but that has been ruled out. Let’s wait and watch if we would be having another prominent party on the bloc by this June.
Baijayant Jay Panda:
Baijayant Jay Panda has come to change the face of mainstream politics. He is a political leader from the BJD and has always been a popular face in Odisha, and lately, is emerging as a well known political figure, nationally too. He is an initiator to say the least. He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Kendrapara constituency, Odisha in May 2009. According to PRS data, his attendance in the parliament has been 66% whereas the national average is 76%. He has participated in 18 debates so far, the prominent ones being the Land acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011 and the Railways Budget, 2013-14. He has introduced 12 private members bill in the parliament till date. One of them sought “plain packaging of tobacco products” in India by amending the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003. Also, he is an eloquent personality who has a profound presence in newspapers’ editorial columns and other public debate forums.
The BJD has always had a stronghold in Odisha and this time too, it will supposedly stride off winning 10-16 seats of the 21 seats in the state.
Mulayam Singh Yadav:
He as we all know is a leader from the Samajwadi Party, which is the major party in Uttar Pradesh, which is politically the most crucial state with 80 Lok Sabha seats. With election campaigns gaining high grounds in the state, Mulayam Singh Yadav is treading a tough path in his run up to the polls. His party workers had earlier refused to participate in the poll campaigns led by UP ministers.
However he has begun with his well planned strategy to address 18 public rallies across the state of UP. His party has come up with schemes to woo minorities and announced a hike of Rs. 3000 in the salary of Madrasa teachers. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has announced scheme worth crores.
SP has been known to be quite fickle in the seat sharing arrangements. This party does not have stringent party allegiances. However, this time they are playing a key role in the forging of the third front, a new coalition on the bloc and may enter into a possible alliance with the left.
Nitish Kumar, JD (U)’s supremo has shown major inconsistency in his actions of late and has been quite of an enigma precisely. His party enjoys support in the state of Bihar. Earlier, a part of NDA, he left the coalition in June last year. He, who has always been known as a local leader and someone who wouldn’t aspire to come to the fore at the national platform, lately put forth his national ambitions. He went on record to say theÂ he is far more worthy contender for PM than others.
Politics in Bihar has become quite chaotic with him being a hot-headed leader, which might spell doom for his national ambitions. JD (U) remains the only party in Bihar which have not clarified its position. It is likely that the party allies with the CPI and CPM in Bihar. Nitish Kumar has however, ruled out any alliance with congress, expressing disappointment over their indifferent attitude towards granting Bihar a special status.
Ram Vilas Paswan:
One major turnaround that has been witnessed is LJP returning to the folds of BJP. LJP’s supremo Ram Vilas Paswan could bode very well for BJP in Bihar as it enjoys popular support in the state and might work as an image makeover factor for the BJP. However there can also be an other way round situation wherein this alliance might as well lead to LJP’s doom as the party is likely to lose Muslim support. With some of its own candidates expressing their discontentment, this might as well be the case.
Let’s keep track of events and see what this major breakthrough would lead to.