Modi Inaugurates Meeting At BJP HQ

Modi Inaugurates Two-Day Meeting At BJP HQ

Prime Minister Narender Modi on Monday inaugurated a two-day high-level meeting with officer bearers at BJP headquarters in the national capital.

The meeting is underway at BJP headquarters. PM Modi, BJP national president JP Nadda, the party’s State presidents, and general secretaries are among those present at the meeting.
Nadda will preside over the two-day meeting of the office bearers.

National General secretaries Dushyant Gautam, Bhupender Yadav, Baijant Panda, Tarun Chugh, and CT Ravi are participating in the meeting. Along with them, UP BJP president BJP president Bhupender Chaudhary, Uttrakhand BJP president Mahendra Bhatt, and other BJP state presidents are present at the meeting.

It is being told that in this meeting, the upcoming strategies of the party will be discussed.

According to the sources, the review of preparations in the states where assembly elections are going to be held next year, and various organizational activities from booth committees will also be discussed.

“In the meeting, a future strategy will be prepared by reviewing the preparations so far, the recent elections, the stay done by the leaders in different states, and the functioning of the state organizations so far, as well as various organizational activities, will be discussed,” the sources said.

Earlier today, the Prime Minister arrived in the national capital after casting his vote in the Assembly elections of Gujarat and was welcomed by the party president.

A senior BJP leader said earlier, “in view of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and 2023 Vidhan Sabha elections, in the two-day meeting, information about the government’s achievements and strengthening the organization will be shared. The functioning of the organization will also be reviewed in the meeting.”

Considering India’s G-20 presidency a major achievement, the party will also outline programmes linked with it to apprise the people about the country’s growing global influence under the leadership of PM Modi, he said further. (ANI)

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BJP MCD Elections

Nadda Calls For Mega BJP Meet On Dec 5 And 6

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National President JP Nadda on Saturday announced a crucial meeting on December 5 and 6 in the national capital to be attended by all key office bearers of the party from across states to decide the road to the 2024 general elections.

Those in the know of the matter have said that Nadda will preside over this two-day meeting, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also likely to address the concluding session virtually on Tuesday.
With the last day of campaigning for the Gujarat Assembly elections coming to a close on Saturday and that for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls over on Friday, the meeting will focus on future strategies and will see the attendance of all the national office bearers.

According to the party sources, the meeting has been called to discuss the strategy and preparations for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and 2023 assembly elections in several states.

Besides, the national office bearers of the party, in-charge, and co-in-charge of all the states, state presidents, and organization general secretaries of all states have also been called for the meeting.

A senior BJP leader said “in view of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and 2023 Vidhan Sabha elections, in the two-day meeting, information about the government’s achievements and strengthening the organization will be shared. The functioning of the organization will also be reviewed in the meeting.”

Considering India’s G-20 presidency a major achievement, the party will also outline programmes linked with it to apprise the people about the country’s growing global influence under the leadership of PM Modi, he said further. (ANI)

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Haldwani Railway Land

SC Refuses To Entertain Plea Seeking Stay On MCD Elections

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea seeking to stay the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections, scheduled to be held on December 4.

A bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S Oka said that the petition has become infructuous as it noted the election is in 3 days, i.e., on Sunday.
The petition has challenged the Delhi High Court’s November 9 decision for not staying

the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections, scheduled to be held on December 4.

The plea was filed by the National Youth Parth pertaining to the delimitation of the constituency of the civic polls.

Notably, the leaders of political parties will make last ditch effort as campaigning for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections is set to end today.

With a massive number of roadshows, the BJP campaigning was undertaken by several Union ministers and state Chief Ministers including national president JP Nadda for a massive show of strength.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national President JP Nadda exuded confidence and said that people are eager to vote for BJP as they are fed up with Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) work. He also hit out at the AAP for not cleaning the Yamuna despite thousands of crores disbursed from the Centre to the Kejriwal government.

The BJP has been in power in the MCD since 2007.

On Friday, Aam Admi Party (AAP) leader and Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia will hold a roadshow in Patparganj.

While trying to revive its prospects in MCD polls, the Congress, in its election manifesto has promised RO water purifying systems for drinking water, clearing the three landfills in Delhi in 18 months and waiver of outstanding house tax due.

Making ‘Delhi will be Sheila ji’s Delhi’ as party’s poll pitch, Congress makes a mention of two schemes named after former Chief Minister Sheila Dixit – Sheila Dixit Swasthya Sahayatha Yojana for medicines at half the price, and the Sheila Dixit Gharelu Majdoor Kalyan Yojana for financial assistance for domestic workers. Assistance for domestic workers includes admissions for their children to MCD schools and financial help in case of accidents. (ANI)

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JP Nadda about Gehlot

Gehlot Cares Less For His People, More For His Party Leaders: JP Nadda

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national President JP Nadda on Thursday said that Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot cares less for the people of the state but more for his party and its leaders.

Nadda’s stinging attack on Gehlot came ahead of the Rajasthan Assembly polls which are due in December next year.
Nadda inaugurated the ‘Jan Aakrosh Yatra’ in Rajasthan’s Jaipur in poll-bound Rajasthan and addressed the public of Rajasthan.

While addressing the public during the Jan Aakrosh Yatra, Nadda said,” Our ‘Jan Aakrosh Yatra’ will cover 200 assembly seats and will have Jan Sampark Abhiyan with nearly two crore people. Gehlot-led Rajasthan government has only changed the names of schemes. Chief Minister Gehlot cares less for the state’s people but more for his party and its leaders.”

Exuding confidence in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Nadda said that the Gujarat assembly election, 2022 is going in the favour of the BJP.

“There is immense love for PM Modi in the state. CM Bhupendra Patel has done the work of development in Gujarat. We have seen positive results in today’s polling,” he added.

Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a massive roadshow in Ahmedabad in the run-up to the Gujarat Assembly elections.

People flocked on both sides of the streets through which the Prime Minister’s convoy was passing. People showered flowers on his convoy. The crowd carrying his posters were chanting “Modi…Modi..” The Prime Minister was also seen greeting people and waving his hands.

After a gap of two days, Prime Minister Modi once again returned to the Gujarat election campaign trail. His three-hour mega roadshow spans 16 assembly constituencies for the second phase of the Assembly election.

The second phase of the Gujarat election would be held on December 5.

The counting of votes will be done on December 8. Results of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections will also be declared on the same day.

The Rajasthan assembly election will choose the representatives of all the 200 seats in the state’s Legislative Assembly. (ANI)

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VD Savarkar Nadda to Rahul Gandhi

Came Out Not To Unite India, But Break It: Nadda To RaGa

Lashing out at Rahul Gandhi over his remarks against VD Savarkar, BJP national president JP Nadda on Friday said that the Congress leader is out on the road doing Bharat Jodo Yatra to “not to unite India, but to break it”.

“Just yesterday, Rahul Gandhi gave a condemnable statement against freedom fighter Veer Savarkar. This shows what their thinking is, they have not come out to unite India, they have come out to break it,” Nadda said while addressing an election rally in Gujarat’s Surat.
He further accused Gandhi of standing with those who protested against the hanging of Afzal Guru, who was the mastermind of the Parliament attack, on the Jawaharlal Nehru University premises in 2016.

“Development is associated with us. Congress always works to break the country. Rahul Gandhi even went to Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University and stood with those who protested against the hanging of Afzal Guru, mastermind of the Parliament attack,” he alleged.

Nadda alleged that all the parties in the country did vote bank politics and worked to divide the people of the country into castes and religions, while only the BJP worked on the mantra of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas”.

Further slamming Congress over their stand on the Jan Dhan Account, Nadda said that the party made fun of the move by the Centre, but today nearly 47 crore Jan Dhan accounts have been opened.

“Congress was making fun of us when BJP was opening “Jan Dhan Account”. But today 47 crore Jan Dhan accounts have been opened. After the account was opened, Modi ji made direct transfers of 500-500 hundred rupees for 3 months to the accounts of 20 crore women during Corona,” he said.

Comparing the developmental work done by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and PM Modi in the medical sector, the BJP chief said that the former had opened only 1 AIIMS while the latter has opened 15 AIIMS in the country.

“In 1960, Jawaharlal Nehru made only 1 AIIMS in the country. Atal ji made 6 AIIMS and today Modi ji made 15 AIIMS. 200 new medical colleges have opened. New dimensions of development are being written,” he said.

The Assembly elections in Gujarat will be held on December 1 and 5, and the counting of votes will take place on December 8. (ANI)

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Nadda Holds Series Of Meetings, Meets State In-Charges

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president J P Nadda on Tuesday held a meeting with the party’s newly appointed state in-charges and discussed ways to strengthen the organisation and prepare for 2024 general elections.
During the meeting, Nadda asked the in-charges to stay connected with the workers on ground and tell people about Narendra Modi-led government’s work done across the last 8 years, sources said.

“We were told that we need to keep visiting the state and keep highlighting the issues that concern particular state so that immediate feedback and cognizance can be taken,” a source told ANI.

This was Nadda’s first meeting with the party’s newly appointed state in-charges. The message by saffron party leadership was very clear for the newly appointed in-charges about making sure that the party strengthens its organisational base from right the booth level onwards.

Another source told, “We were told that we need to keep visiting the state and stay connected. This will keep the party cadre morale high.”

The party top leadership has asked the state in-charges to make frequent visits to the states assigned to them and that each one must maintain complete accountability.

“BJP is not a shortsighted party but a party with distinct vision and in for a long haul and therefore continuity in work in the organisation will hold the key,” a source told ANI about the message from the top brass.

Another meeting is also expected to take place with all the state in charges soon.

On 9tn September, BJP national president JP Nadda appointed in-charges for various states and union territories including poll-bound states like Tripura and Telangana.

Bhupender Yadav was replaced by general secretary Vinod Tawde in Bihar whereas Harish Dwivedi continues to be the co-incharge. Om Mathur is the in-charge for Chhattisgarh. Former Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb has been given an organisational responsibility and made in charge of Haryana.

Vinod Sonkar who was in charge of Tripura which goes into election next year has been replaced by former union minister and Noida MP Dr Mahesh Sharma. Former Gujarat chief Minister Vijay Rupani has also been given organisational responsibilities in Punjab and Chandigarh.

Tarun Chugh national general secretary continues to be in charge of Telangana. Kerala has a new in charge in the form of former union minister Prakash Javadekar.

National general secretary Dilip Saikia has been replaced by Dr Laxmi Kant Bajpai in Jharkhand where the BJP locked in the bitter battle with th ruling JMM-Congress. Recently Bajpai was brought to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh and has also been made the chief whip of the party in the Rajya Sabha

Notably, there are elections in the two state- Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh in the coming months. In the first part of the year 2023, Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland will witness elections and the party is preparing for all the state elections.

While the BJP is in power in Meghalaya and Nagaland in alliance with NDA, the party stunned everyone with the Tripura elections in 2018 and also is looking towards repeating its performance.

Karnataka state in which the BJP is in power for the longest will also be a stiff challenge for the saffron party with the kind of backlash that chief minister Basavaraj Bommai has been facing in the recent.

While the BJP continues to be in power in Madhya Pradesh with Shivraj Singh Chouhan at the helmit will be a stiff challenge for them to come back to power in states of Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, which they lost in the last election. (ANI)

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Kerala Hotspot of terrorism

Nadda: Kerala Becoming Hotspot Of Terrorism

Bharatiya Janata Party president JP Nadda on Monday attacked the CPI-M-led Left government in Kerala, saying the state is “becoming a hotspot of terrorism and fringe elements” and “communal tensions are increasing”.

Nadda, who inaugurated BJP district office in Thycaud and addressed booth presidents and booth Incharges district level meeting in Kowdiar in the state, alleged that the Pinarayi Vijayan government was involved in corruption.
“The Kerala government is neck deep in corruption. When even the CM office of a state ends up under the ambit of corruption, what else could be more unfortunate about the governance therein? This is how the LDF government is ruining and destroying the state of Kerala,” he said.

“Kerala is becoming a hotspot of terrorism and fringe elements. Life is not safe, ordinary citizen not finding himself to be safe. Communal tensions are mounting. The tacit support to culprits by the left govt is nothing but state-sponsored lawlessness,” he added.

Nadda said BJP is a structured, cadre-based party that is consistent in its ideology and has a mass following.

He said PM Modi is leaving no stone unturned to uplift each section of society.

“We are lucky to be a part of the BJP as we are the only political party with an ideology which started with Jana Sangh in 1950. The implementation of our ideology is reflected by the fact on our stance on Article 370. Our national commitments is undeterred but the aspiration of regional people are never ignored. We are not just a political party, but a party living on the principles of humanity and social service,” he said.

He said the BJP government has always been pro-poor, taking care of the marginalized in every way possible. “To save people from hunger during the pandemic, PM Modi started PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana under which 5 kg of wheat/rice and 1 kg of pulses were provided to every eligible person.”

“It is a proactive and pro-responsive government and an example of the same is the rescue during the Ukraine war. Thousands of Indian students were trapped in the conflict zone and were brought back safely to their homes.”

He said the new party office is an infrastructure and in this hardware, “you need to put software”. “Our karyakartas are software. You need to use this office as Sanskar kendra. Through this office, you need to give sanskar to the karyakartas”.

He alleged Kerala is entering into a debt trap.

“The financial discipline isn’t being maintained due to the policies of LDF government. This government is synonymous with corruption, and I am sorry to say that CM office is also involved in it.

Not only corruption, but there is nepotism in university appointments as people close to CM are being placed. The powers of Lokayukta are being diluted for protecting the CM office which is involved in corruption.”

In order to give boost to connectivity in the state, a significant amount of finance is being infused for strengthening the network of National Highways in Kerala, Nadda said.

“As BJP is the largest political party, we think on all parameters- the Size, Scale and Skill of the party. We have to be well-equipped and enlightened about what can be done in the best of our capacities- for humanity, for the society, and for the people of Kerala,” he said. (ANI)

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Winds in Bengal May Be Blowing Against Didi

The next big state assembly election after Bihar’s will be in four states—Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, and Bengal. In Assam, a BJP-led coalition is in power; in Kerala, it is a coalition of left parties rules; in Puducherry, a tiny union territory, it is a Congress government. But of those elections, the one that will be watched most keenly are the elections in West Bengal where for the second term, it is the Trinamool Congress (TMC) that is in power, led by its feisty chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, fondly called “Didi”, by her supporters.

In the wake of the Bihar elections where the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has won the recent elections, the focus on what happens in Bengal has turned sharper. But first, a quick rewind on Bihar.

Although Bihar’s incumbent government before the elections was an NDA one, it wasn’t meant to be when the 2015 election results were announced. Then, it was the coalition opposed to the BJP that got the winning numbers. But, famously, after the Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (U) quit that coalition and crossed over to support the BJP, the tables turned and Nitish Kumar became chief minister of a NDA government in Bihar. Before this year’s elections, there was much speculation about whether the BJP and Kumar would part ways (the latter has had a love-hate relationship with Prime Minister Modi and his party in the past). That did not happen and Kumar was sworn in as chief minister for a second term.

In Bengal, things are quite different. Ms Banerjee whose party won 222 of the 294 seats in the assembly in 2016 could look like she will contest the next elections, scheduled in 2021, from a position of strength. The Left parties in the state, which was run by a leftist alliance for more than three decades, have been decimated in the past decade—they have just 24 seats in the assembly—and the Congress with 23 fares no better. But all eyes are on the BJP. From virtual non-existence in Bengal, the nationalist party won 16 seats in 2016, and in recent years it has been trying to bolster and grow its support base in the state.

ALSO READ: BJP Now Dominant Partner In Bihar

The BJP’s main issues in its campaign will likely be charges of non-governance against Ms. Banerjee’s government, and allegations that it has been overly appeasing minorities in the state. The BJP has been fanning these sentiments for a while in its efforts to garner voters. If elections in Bengal are held as scheduled (in May), there is barely five months left before voters cast their ballot. The BJP has already ramped up their campaigning. Home Minister Amit Shah, and the party’s president JP Nadda have planned frequent visits to Bengal, to address rallies and strengthen the party’s state-level organisation.

The thing that stands in favour of Ms Banerjee, however, is that unlike the BJP or other opposition parties in the state, in her (as the two-time chief minister), the Trinamool Congress has a face and, obviously, a clear chief ministerial candidate for the election. The BJP doesn’t. At least not yet. But opposition parties, including the BJP, hope that anti-incumbency sentiments may finally begin to stir up against Ms. Banerjee and her Trinamool government.

Earlier this month, a small organisation, Crowdwisdom360 (it calls itself India’s first Political Prediction Market) carried out small on-the-ground polls to get a feel of the political mood in Bengal’s districts. Crowdwisdom360 claims that in the recently-held Bihar elections, its seat-level accuracy was 70%. In Bengal, its surveys appear to show that the BJP’s dual messaging against the Banerjee regime (poor governance; and minority appeasement) has been working better than the incumbent government’s absence of positive messages. Crowdwisdom360’s surveys have shown that voters are unable to zero in on concrete reasons why they should vote for Trinamool candidates.

There are problems with such surveys, of course. First, there could be sampling errors that let biases creep in; and second, in India’s electoral politics, things change sometimes quite mercurially. But even if such surveys are disregarded, the mood in Bengal as it heads for another election is quite different from what it was when Ms. Banerjee steered her party to victory for the second time in 2016.

There is discontent among rural voters, largely fuelled by what is perceived as minority appeasement; the COVID-19 pandemic has not helped matters; and the opposition’s campaigns, particularly the BJP’s, have been having an impact. In 2021, for Ms. Banerjee and her party, returning to power for the third time may not be a cakewalk.

Will JP Nadda Come Out Of Shah’s Shadow?

The humiliating defeat suffered by the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Delhi assembly election has not proved to be an auspicious beginning for the party’s month-old president JP Nadda. Though it is true that it was Union Home Minister Amit Shah who led the party’s high-decibel campaign in Delhi, history books will record the result as BJP’s first electoral drubbing under Nadda’s stewardship.

Out of power for over two decades, the BJP was predictably desperate to take control in Delhi. But the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party proved to be a formidable opponent and the BJP fell by the wayside once again.

Well before Nadda took over as the BJP’s 11th president, it was widely acknowledged that he will not enjoy the same powers as his predecessor Amit Shah did but, nevertheless, would be called to take responsibility for the party’s poll defeats as well as organisational matters.

Nadda began his tenure with a disadvantage as it is difficult to live up to Shah’s larger-than-life image. Amit Shah, who served as BJP president for five years has easily been the most powerful party head in recent times. Known for his supreme organisational skills, Shah is chiefly responsible for the BJP’s nation-wide expansion, having built a vast network of party workers and put in place formidable election machinery. No doubt Modi’s personality, charisma and famed oratory drew in the crowds but there is no denying that Shah contributed equally to the string of electoral victories notched by the BJP over the last five years.

ALSO READ: Shah Could Be Most Decisive HM

Given that Shah has revamped the party organisation from scratch and placed his loyalists in key positions, there are serious doubts that the affable, low-key and smiling Nadda will be allowed functional autonomy. Will he be able to take independent decisions, will he constantly be looking over his shoulder, will he be allowed to appoint his own team or will he be a lame-duck party president? These are the questions doing the rounds in the BJP as there is all-round agreement that Shah will not relinquish his grip over the party organisation. This was evident in the run-up to the Delhi assembly polls as it was Shah and not Nadda who planned and led the party’s election campaign.

In fact, it is acknowledged that Nadda was chosen to head the BJP precisely because he is willing to play the second fiddle to Shah. Party leaders maintain that the new president is unlikely to make any major changes in the near future and that he will be consulting Shah before taking key decisions. For the moment, state party chiefs appointed by Shah have been re-elected, ensuring that the outgoing party president remains omnipresent.

ALSO READ: Anti-CAA Protests Erupt In Country

Though Nadda has inherited a far stronger party organisation as compared to his earlier predecessors, the new BJP president also faces a fair share of challenges. He has taken over as party chief at a time when the BJP scraped through in the Haryana assembly polls, failed to form a government in Maharashtra and was roundly defeated in Jharkhand. The party’s relations with its allies have come under strain while the ongoing protests against the new citizenship law, the National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register have blotted the BJP’s copybook.

These developments have predictably came as a rude shock to the BJP leadership and its cadres who were convinced that the party was invincible, especially after it came to power for a second consecutive term last May with a massive mandate.

WATCH: Modi Has Woken Up A Sleeping Tiger

Nadda’s first task has been to boost the morale of party workers and make them believe that the recent assembly poll results were a flash in the pan and that the BJP’s expansion plans are on course.

After Delhi, the Bihar election poses the next big challenge this year. The party’s ally, the Janata Dal (U), has upped the ante, meant primarily to mount pressure on the BJP for a larger share of seats in this year’s assembly elections. Realising that the BJP cannot afford to alienate its allies at this juncture, Amit Shah has already declared Nitish Kumar as the coalition’s chief ministerial candidate, which effectively puts the Janata Dal (U) in the driver’s seat. This has upset the BJP’s Bihar unit which has been pressing for a senior role in the state and is even demanding that the next chief minister should be from their party.          

The BJP has to necessarily treat its allies with kid gloves as they have been complaining  about the saffron party’s “big brother” attitude and that they are being taken for granted. While Shiv Sena has already parted company with the BJP, other alliance partners like the Lok Janshakti Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal have also questioned the BJP’s style of functioning.

The crucial West Bengal assembly election next year will also be held during Nadda’s tenure. The BJP has been working methodically on the ground in this state for the past several years now and has staked its prestige on dethroning Mamata Banerjee.

ALSO READ: West Bengal Follows AAP Model

But the Trinamool Congress chief is putting up a spirited fight, sending out a clear message to the BJP that it will not be so easy to oust her. Banerjee has declared war against the Modi government on the issues pertaining to the CAA-NRC-NPR and also activated her party cadres who have spread across the state to explain the implications of the Centre’s decision to the poor and illiterate. The BJP, on the other hand, is struggling to get across its message.

As in the case of Delhi, Shah can be expected to take charge of the Bihar and West Bengal assembly polls while Nadda will, at best, be a marginal player. Again it will be left to Shah to mollify the party’s allies as it is too sensitive and important a task to be handled by Nadda.

Like all political parties led by strong leaders, a BJP defeat will be seen as Nadda’s failure while a victory will be credited to Modi and Shah.

Virbhadra attempts his seventh summit

CONGRESS OFF THE BLOCKS He said at least the Congress leadership had sorted out issues related to the one-upmanship between the chief minister and state Congress chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu ahead of the polls. Ending months of speculation and turmoil within the party, Rahul Gandhi last Saturday announced at a public meeting in Mandi town that Virbhadra Singh will “become the chief minister for the seventh time”. Clearly indicating the party stands behind Singh, who is facing cases related to disproportionate assets, he said: “Virbhadra Singh ji has done tremendous development as six-time chief minister. He will be the chief minister for the seventh time. This will have full backing of the party.” “Rahul Gandhi’s public announcement clearly indicated that Virbhadra Singh will lead the party in the elections and will have a say in the allocation of tickets too,” said a Congress leader. He added that Singh, who has been in active politics for over 50 years and is a regular target of the BJP, is considered a threat only by top state leaders but not by the cadre. “The party’s workers at the grassroots are emotionally connected to Virbhadra Singh and with Rahul Gandhi clearing the air about the party leadership, their morale has been boosted,” added the leader, once a cabinet minister in the Virbhadra government. Informed sources said Virbhadra Singh had categorically told Congress president Sonia Gandhi in late August that he would not take the party into the Assembly elections under state chief Sukhu’s leadership. At that time, the chief minister, along with his cabinet colleagues, camped in New Delhi for three days to seek a “free hand” in the selection of candidates and the conduct of the party’s  campaign ahead of Assembly polls. Rahul Gandhi was out of India at that time. BJP RUNNING ON CONFIDENCE Despite the Congress sorting out its leadership issues, the BJP remains confident of regaining the ground it lost in the 2012 assembly election. It also feels Virbhadra Singh is on the brink of political “collapse” following charges framed against him and his family by a CBI court in connection with a money-laundering case. Dhumal has often hinted that Congress legislators were unhappy with Virbhadra Singh and were in touch with him. Without naming Virbhadra Singh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a recent visit to Bilaspur to lay the foundation of a Rs 1,350-crore AIIMS hospital and launch the party’s election campaign, said: “This is a zamanati sarkar (government on bail).” “When some people of the Congress came to meet me, I told them the Chief Minister and his entire family are out on bail… Then the Congress people replied that our entire party is on bail, our (Congress) president is facing corruption charges,” Modi said. Undeterred by the court cases and carping critics, Virbhadra Singh has been aggressively touring the state for the past six months, laying foundation stones and inaugurating infrastructure projects. Only time will tell whether the veteran politician will succeed in leading his troops to victory in what must surely be his last electoral joust. (IANS) // ]]>