States Diary

river-linking project

Nitin Gadkari Hints Parrikkar May Become Goa CM

The ruling BJP in Goa has decided to go to polls without a CM candidate even as it announced names for 29 seats, including 17 sitting MLAs. CM Laxmikant Parsekar figures in the list released following the party’s central election committee (CEC) meeting on Wednesday.

Union minister and BJP in-charge of Goa elections Nitin Gadkari, however, hinted on Thursday that defence minister Manohar Parrikar could be the next CM if party MLAs decides so after the polls. “A leader in Delhi could be made the CM of Goa if the party MLAs decides,” said Gadkari at a press conference. A source in BJP indicated that Parrikar could return to state politics and the central leadership favoured such a move. The source said the matter had been discussed by national BJP president Amit Shah with PM Modi.

Sidhu to Contest Punjab Polls from Amritsar East Constituency

Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh has said that former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu will join the party “unconditionally”, and asserted that any decision on having a deputy chief minister in the state would be taken by party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Addressing the media during the rejoining of former Congress leader Darbari Lal he said Sidhu would be the party’s candidate for Amritsar East.

The delay in Sidhu’s joining, said Amarinder, was on account of his professional commitments, which he wanted to conclude before getting into the election gear. On the reason for the delay in issuing remaining tickets, he said, the party’s central leadership had five states to look after, which naturally led to some delays in the decision-making process. He ruled out tickets for outsiders except where Congress does not have strong candidates.

Too Many Hopefuls, No CM Face for BJP in Uttarakhand

The lack of a credible CM face has been haunting Uttarakhand BJP for several months now. The saffron party has no clear answers still, barely a fortnight before polls kick off. The indecision, many in the party said, may hurt BJP electorally since it is pitted against a wily opponent like Harish Rawat, who is as of now the undisputed CM face of the Congress.

BJP four ex-CMs who are probable candidates, but all of them have certain chinks due to which no consensus has been reached. While BC Khanduri has a clean image, age is not on his side; he is over 82. Bhagat Singh Koshyari is touching 75. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ is the youngest of the lot but carries the baggage of corruption charges. Vijay Bahuguna, a Congress turncoat, does not have the confidence of central leaders yet.

Nitish Kumar Decided to Skip Hardik Patel’s Gujarat Rally

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has informed activist Hardik Patel that he will not be able to join him after all at a rally in Gujarat later this month as earlier planned. Kumar has cited key elections in several states, including neighbouring UP, announced last week, as the reason for his unavailability, his party said.

Hardik Patel, 23, led a massive agitation for reservation in government jobs and colleges by Patidars in Gujarat, which led to several cases of sedition against him. He spent months in jail and was released by a court last year on the condition that he would not enter Gujarat for six months. That ban ends in a week, on January 17. Assembly elections will be held in Gujarat later this year and Hardik Patel has vowed to ensure the defeat of the BJP.

Now Kejriwal at Loggerheads with New Delhi LG

The Delhi government’s proposal to slash DTC bus fares by 75 per cent has been returned by the new lieutenant governor Anil Baijal. The decision to bring down the fare to Rs 5 for non-AC buses and Rs 10 for AC buses had been announced by Delhi transport minister Satyendar Jain in December last year and the file was sent to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) for approval last fortnight. It was returned on January 11th, the first major proposal of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to be sent back by Baijal for reconsideration.

The Delhi government had said that it would help contain pollution problem as slash in DTC prices would pump public transport uses in the national capital region. However, the LG office questioned the idea citing it would put Rs 50 crore burden on the government exchequer.

Telangana Ranked No 1 in Implementing Welfare Schemes, Says Minister

Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy has asserted that the Telangana government has been ranked No.1 State in the country in the implementation of social welfare schemes. He was addressing a meeting, along with Government Whip Gampa Govardhan, after laying foundation for development works and launching several schemes, costing Rs.2.2 crore, in Biswapur, Bibipet and Jangam village of Bhiknur mandal.

The minister assured the gathering that the government would ensure supply of irrigated water from the Kaleswaram project to Kamareddy, Machareddy, Bhiknoor, Domakonda and Yellareddy mandals for the benefit of farmers. He described Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao as a ‘godly figure’. Speaking to the Dayafter, Pocharam said that in the next two years the scheme to provide drinking water tap to every house would be taken up.