Thursday April 26, 2018
Home Politics Lalu scores d...

Lalu scores double century of addressing poll rallies

0
//
49
Republish
Reprint

Patna: Lalu Prasad, the irrepressible chief of the RJD, has set a record of sorts by addressing over 200 election rallies across the state in his inimitable style during the ongoing staggered Bihar election.

Lalu, in fact, is far ahead of other leaders.

Lalu has entered the record books with a double century last week itself. He will address around 250 election rallies by the time the over-month-long campaign ends on Tuesday evening” for the fifth and final phase of Bihar assembly polls, an aide said.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Chandeshwar Prasad Singh told IANS here that though Lalu Prasad had had major heart surgeries in 2014, he is as energetic as in the past.

“Laluji has addressed six to ten rallies in a day. He was in high demand by the candidates of the grand alliance of RJD, JD-U and Congress,” he said.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was not too far behind .

Nitish Kumar has also addressed 200-odd election rallies till date,” JD-U leader Nawal Sharma said.

Sharma said Nitish Kumar addressed five to six rallies daily at the start of the campaign. But later, he has been addressing seven to eight rallies every day.

Both Lalu and Nitish are star campaigners of the grand alliance.

BJP’s Sushil Kumar Modi, a former deputy chief minister, has so far addressed close to 200 election rallies. Former chief minister and president of Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAW) Jitan Ram Manjhi, an ally of the BJP-led NDA, has also addressed over 150 election rallies.

Acknowledged as a master orator by followers and political adversaries alike, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has addressed 25 rallies as the star campaigner of the BJP-led NDA — the most by any recent prime minister.

No prime minister before Modi has ever visited Bihar more than two-three times during assembly elections in the past. Modi addressed four rallies in the state in July and August even before the announcement of the assembly polls, with two official visits during the same period.

Erstwhile prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee addressed a few rallies during the 2000 Bihar assembly polls while his successor Manmohan Singh addressed two or three rallies in the 2005 assembly elections, and a similar number in the 2010 polls.

RJD leader Chandeshwar Prasad Singh said Lalu Prasad had so far used a chopper for campaigning. “It’s indicative of his hard-working style, upbeat mood and unbeatable energy to reach out to the people in far away places,” he added.

Singh said that other than Lalu Prasad, his eldest daughter Misa Bharti and his younger son Tejasvi Yadav, who too are key campaigners for the grand alliance, have addressed over 100 election rallies.

As for the other campaigners, they are far behind.

BJP president Amit Shah has addressed close to 100 election rallies and another BJP ally LJP chief and union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has addressed the same number of election rallies.

Nearly a dozen union ministers, mostly BJP leaders, have also addressed dozens of election rallies.

At the bottom of the pack are Congress president Sonia Gandhi — who has addressed six election rallies — and her son and party vice president Rahul Gandhi — who has addressed 15 rallies.

Barring Left leaders, politicians of all hues in Bihar hired private helicopters to reach out to voters across the sprawling state of nearly 105 million people.

This is a far cry from the times when most political leaders, barring those at the very top, travelled by rail or road to connect to voters and to campaign.

According to leaders from different parties, more than two dozen helicopters from private firms have been pressed into service to ferry the star campaigners. Most helicopters have come from aviation firms based in New Delhi and Mumbai. The average cost of hiring a multi-engine helicopter is Rs.2 lakh for a flying hour.

The polling for the fifth and final phase of the 243-seat Bihar assembly election will take place on November 5, with the counting slated for November 8.

(By Imran Khan,IANS)

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

Come April, government will be more comfortable in Rajya Sabha

Of the 100 BJP-allies MPs, 24 are retiring. Which means, the government will be left with 76 MPs

0
//
85
Parliament of India is a source of interest for many people because of various reasons. Wikimedia Commons
Parliament of India is a source of interest for many people because of various reasons. Wikimedia Commons
  • In April, the opposition may lose its edge over BJP in Rajya Sabha
  • NDA led by Modi has faced many embarrassments in Rajya Sabha in past few years
  • This is expected to change soon

Come April, the opposition in the Rajya Sabha may lose its edge in the numbers game and the power to stall any government bill, as the ruling BJP-led NDA coalition is set to catch up with its rivals, though a clear majority will elude them for a while more.

BJP to soon get more comfortable in  Rajya Sabha. Wikimedia commons
BJP to soon get more comfortable in Rajya Sabha. Wikimedia Commons

As 58 MPs, including three Nominated and one Independent, are set to retire in April, the Rajya Sabha math is going to change. It is set to favour the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and the trend may continue in the elections to the Upper House later too with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) having solid majorities in a number of state assemblies, especially the ones it won after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

With this, while the Congress-led opposition’s numbers will come down to around 115 from the present 123, the numbers of the BJP, its allies and sympathisers together would climb to around 109 from the present 100-odd members.

And the gap, once wide enough to let the opposition invariably have its say, will keep narrowing further in the coming months.

Of the 55 retiring members (excluding those Nominated), 30 belong to the opposition camp while 24 belong to the BJP and allies. Of them, a large number of NDA candidates are set to return while the opposition will lose a chunk of its members.

As things stand now, the Congress-led opposition has 123 MPs (including 54 of the Congress) in a house of 233 elected members (apart from 12 Nominated), while the NDA has 83 members (including 58 of BJP) plus four Independents who support the BJP (these include MPs Rajeev Chandrashekhar, Subhash Chandra, Sanjay Dattatraya Kakade and Amar Singh).

Rajya Sabha or the Upper House can often be a game changer while passing of the bills is in process.
Rajya Sabha or the Upper House can often be a game changer while passing of the bills is in process.

Also, for all practical purposes, the All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), that has 13 members in the Rajya Sabha, is also with the NDA. This means the NDA’s effective strength in the upper house of Parliament is 100.

The gap was wider till just a few months ago. This meant that during any battle between the government and the opposition in the Upper House over bills and major issues, it was the opposition that invariably had its way. The recent example was the triple talaq legislation that the opposition stalled in the upper house, demanding that it be referred to a Select Committee.

For over less than four years, the Narendra Modi government had faced quite a few embarrassments in the Rajya Sabha thanks to the majority of the opposition, forcing it often to take the money bill route to avoid a clash in the house. Under the Constitution, a money bill needs to be passed only in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha cannot stall it.

Also Read: For Modi, Road To 2019 Will Be Steeper

However, after April, the NDA will be in a far better position.

Of the 100 BJP-allies MPs, 24 are retiring. Which means, the government will be left with 76 MPs (including AIADMK). But at least 30 from the NDA are set to get re-elected. So the number will rise to 106. Add three members that the government would nominate to the upper house and the final NDA tally will roughly be 109 MPs.

Further, there are fence-sitters such as the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the YSR Congress, which are not virulently against the BJP and would not oppose the government unless for very compelling reasons.

Now, for the Congress and the rest of the opposition, they are set to lose 30 MPs (including one Independent, A.V. Swamy) through retirement and would be left with around 93 members. The Opposition may win roughly 22 seats, which means that its final tally after April is likely to be around 115 members.

Government can now expect some smooth sailing in the Rajya Sabha, coming this April.
Government can now expect some smooth sailing in the Rajya Sabha, coming this April.

The gap has clearly narrowed and the government may not be at the mercy of the opposition during crucial votes and can have its way in the Rajya Sabha if it musters its numbers by deftly wooing “floater” MPs.

The three newly-elected Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members may remain equidistant from both the BJP and the Congress, though the party is friendly with some of the major opposition parties like the Trinamool Congress.

Also Read: BJP MP Seeks Amendment to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill

In an interesting development recently, the AAP actively participated in the opposition’s walkout and the day-long boycott of the Rajya Sabha over long intra-day adjournments of the Upper House by Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu.

The AAP, which was not welcome at any opposition meetings earlier, particularly those held in Parliament House, was invited to speak at a joint opposition media interaction on the day. But nobody can be sure as to how long this bonding would last.

Partywise tally of those retiring in April-May from the opposition’s side include 13 from the Congress, six from the Samajwadi Party, three of the Trinamool Congress, two each of the Nationalist Congress Party and Biju Janata Dal and one each of the CPI-M, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha.

NDA has to face many embarrassments in past few years in Rajya Sabha. Wikimedia Commons
NDA has to face many embarrassments in past few years in Rajya Sabha. Wikimedia Commons

From the ruling side, 17 MPs of the BJP, three of the Janata Dal United, one of the Shiv Sena and two of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) are retiring.

In terms of state-wise vacancies to be created in April, the highest number is from Uttar Prdaesh (9), followed by Maharashtra (6), Madhya Pradesh (5), Bihar (5), Gujarat (4), Karnataka (4), West Bengal (4), Rajasthan (3), Odisha (3), Andhra Pradesh (3), Telangana (2), Uttarakhand (1), Himachal Pradesh (1) and Chhattisgarh (1). IANS