Nitish: Then & now
Every year, socialist groups celebrate the foundation day of the Congress Socialist Party on May 17. The Congress Socialist Party, a socialist caucus within the Congress party, was founded in 1934 in Patna. In 2016, these socialist groups marked the 82nd foundation day of the Congress Socialist Party in Patna. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was the chief guest at the event. Kumar's Janata Dal (United) was, at the time, part of the 'grand alliance' that also comprised the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress. In his speech, Kumar had given a call for "Sangh-mukt Bharat" (RSS-free India) and for socialist unity. Much water has flowed under the bridge since then. The socialist groups plan to mark the 84th foundation day this year again in Patna. Not only will they not invite Kumar to the event, but sources said they will remind the Bihar chief minister of the vows he had taken in his speech in 2016.
Of govt & governance
A day after the Narendra Modi government came out with its plans for preparing a report card on its four years of governance with a special focus on social welfare schemes, parties and activist groups have begun preparing their own report card of the government’s ‘disastrous’ measures. The Congress party's research department, headed by Rajeev Gowda, is compiling a booklet on the "economic mess" that the government's decisions has had on the country. This includes demonetisation and "hurried implementation" of the Goods & Services Tax. Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is also compiling its list of the government's alleged failures, and will focus on the increasing atrocities on Dalits and minorities.
Lesson from experience
Picking up a quick lesson from the experience of the Delhi Congress, the Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party issued a list of dos and don'ts to its members ahead of the party's day-long fast on Thursday. The BJP's four-point guideline is short but succinct: "Don't be seen eating; don't click selfies; clear food vendors from the area; and don't fast if you are a diabetic". Earlier this week, pictures of Delhi Congress leaders gorging on chholey bhature had made the party's protest fast a subject of much ridicule on social media. Delhi BJP leader Harish Khurana, who was one of the leaders who tweeted the photo, said the list had been circulated among party workers well in advance.