Maya-stroke for Rae bareli
By announcing the name of former DIG of stamp and registration department Ram Lakhan Pasi as its candidate for Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat, the BSP has tried to kill two birds with one stone. First, the party thinks Ram Lakhan will give a good fight to Congress president Sonia Gandhi because the constituency has a large number of Pasi voters. Second, the party has tried to win over the Pasis, who aren't really considered hardline BSP supporters unlike certain other Scheduled Caste communities. Ram Lakhan had joined the BSP last year after taking voluntary retirement and worked as a BSP coordinator in districts that have a high Pasi population. He may have a tough battle on his hands in Rae Bareli, but he is undeterred. "When a chief minister's son can lose (in neighbouring Uttarakhand) and the son of the President of India can escape defeat by a small margin (in Bengal), what is impossible in an election?" he asks.
Kalyan's sweet revenge
BJP national secretary Ashok Pradhan has stopped visiting Bulandshahar, his Lok Sabha constituency, ever since the party decided to re-induct former chief minister Kalyan Singh. In 2009, the BJP had named Pradhan as its candidate for Bulandshahar, ignoring Kalyan's opposition. An angry Kalyan had then left the BJP. Although Pradhan lost, he kept visiting the constituency regularly, meeting party workers and people in general, obviously with the idea of contesting again in 2014. But Kalyan has now demanded Bulandshahar, besides Aligarh and Etah, as the price of his return, and the BJP is willing to pay. Obviously, Pradhan has to look for some other constituency.
Shivpal's pen fumbles less
Known for his slips of tongue and wholesale suspension of engineers, PWD Minister Shivpal Yadav has lately begun to display a flair for writing and a taste for literature. On Ram Manohar Lohia's death anniversary on October 12, an article under his byline appeared in some Hindi newspapers. A collection of his writings was released by his elder brother and Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav at the Lohia anniversary function. Shivpal also wrote an article on the life and works of martyr Ashfaqullah Khan on his birth anniversary on October 23 for a newspaper. On Sunday, he honoured a Hindi littérateur in Lucknow.