As External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar welcomed his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari with a ‘namaste’ and not a handshake, the latter said that Jaishankar did not differentiate between foreign ministers and treated all of them in the same way. The Pakistan foreign minister also said that in Pakistan, too, in some places, people do greet with a ‘namaste’ and it was not a slight. He said that they did shake hands and exchanged pleasantries at dinner on Thursday.
Amit Shah to visit Tripura
Union Home Minister Amit Shah may visit Tripura next week to interact with members of the Bru community, displaced from neighboring Mizoram over two decades ago and settled in various parts of the state in camps. Many of those families are now being rehabilitated in pockets of Tripura, which has earmarked land for them as part of a four-way agreement involving the Centre, state governments of Tripura, Mizoram, and leaders of the Bru community. The Tripura administration has started making arrangements for Shah’s visit, which was scheduled much before the outbreak of violence in Manipur. It remains to be seen if Shah also holds a meeting with the TIPRA Motha leadership during his visit over its demand to appoint an interlocutor to examine the Greater Tipraland issue.
Ajit Pawar down, Supriya Sule up, Sharad Pawar the boss
A confidant says he wanted all rumours about differences between family and party, Ajit’s unhappiness to be thrashed out in public domain – and did just that—With a U-turn, master strategist Sharad Pawar complicates Ajit Pawar’s plans — and BJP-Shinde’s design.
What will happen when the 83-year-old cancer survivor who works round the clock for his party, starts to speak of the betrayal of the very people whose political careers he built? Things came to a head a few weeks ago with signs of the Enforcement Directorate closing in on Ajit Pawar. It has been an open secret that Ajit Pawar was contemplating joining the BJP government in Maharashtra, with a section of NCP MLAs willing to move with him, the buzz being that he had been offered CMship by the BJP brass.
Several leaders tried to convince Sharad Pawar that the best interest of the party lay in supporting the BJP. He is believed to have told them that each leader could do what they felt was best for them but he was in no mood to go anywhere.
BJP’s campaign to target Kejriwal
The Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will run a four-week long campaign targeting chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for which the party has prepared 14 specially-designed vans that will play a video on LED screens, its office-bearers said on Friday.
The campaign will focus on the controversy surrounding the money spent on renovating the CM’s official bungalow.
“The way Arvind Kejriwal has built a palace-like bungalow for himself has surprised everyone. Kejriwal used to say that he would live like a common man in a simple and small house. But has spent Rs.45 crore of public money to get a house constructed for himself,” Delhi BJP chief Virendra Sachdeva said.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has consistently denied the charges, blaming the BJP for making a political issue out of much-needed repairs and renovations at the CM house.
Mamata’s 1:1 formula to take on BJP
Mamata Banerjee has sought 35 political parties in India which are the main Opposition across the country in 22 states to join hands and field a common candidate in each Lok Sabha seat against the BJP in the 2024 general elections.
Her message, in the backdrop of her multiple parleys with leaders of several non-BJP parties in recent months, captured her attempt to build consensus to take on the BJP next year.
“We have to unite and fight together. Candidates should be fielded on a 1:1 basis. Whoever (political party) is strong in a place will field candidates in that respective area. This is necessary to oust BJP from power,” she said
Mamata is firmly in favour of the 1:1 formula, which translates to only the strongest non-BJP candidate being fielded against the BJP candidate in as many of the 543 Lok Sabha seats as possible.
The Trinamul chief has been pitching the formula for a while, questioning the BJP s very ability to win next year and dismissing the meticulously crafted perception of the invincibility of the Narendra Modi regime.
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