Nitish loses his cool over criticism on poor handling of the pandemic

Topics Coronavirus

The Leader of the Opposition, Tejashwi Yadav, who had led the attack on the CM in recent months, called the showdown a sham ahead of the Assembly elections
Birthday drive

It was Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s (pictured) birthday on Monday. Several politicians, including his deputy and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar, congratulated him. The CM also posted their picture in a small car with Pawar at the wheel. This prompted many social media users to interpret that while Thackeray is the Chief Minister, Pawar runs the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government of the state. The MVA coalition was formed after the 2019 Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections under the leadership of Sharad Pawar of the NCP, Uddhav Thackeray of the Shiv Sena, and the Congress. The MVA also enjoys the support of the SP, Peasants and Workers Party of India, Prahar Janshakti Party, and some independent MLAs. Dissident Congress leader Sachin Pilot also tweeted his wishes to Thackeray.

Nitish loses his cool

The usually unflappable Bihar chief minister has been losing his cool quite frequently these days. Faced with relentless criticism by the Opposition on the poor handling of the pandemic, Nitish Kumar gave Principal Secretary (PS) Uday Singh Kumawat a tongue lashing during the most recent Cabinet meeting. Earlier, state Health Minister Mangal Pandey was at the receiving end of his wrath, and he promptly passed the blame on to the PS, accusing him of insubordination. The Leader of the Opposition, Tejashwi Yadav, who had led the attack on the CM in recent months, called the showdown a sham ahead of the Assembly elections. Last Friday, even the Patna High Court took the Bihar government to task and directed it to furnish details of the steps it had taken to prevent the Covid-19 crisis from veering out of control.

Who’s advising Rahul?

Several senior members of the Congress, including leaders closest to the Interim President Sonia Gandhi, are frustrated at the manner of Rahul Gandhi’s attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On Monday, Rahul released the fourth episode of his social media attack on the government’s handling of Chinese intrusions. He said he would continue to highlight “the truth” about China occupying Indian territory. “I don’t care if I don’t have a political career after that ...” he said. Some gripes were mundane ―like why he had worn the same blue shirt in all four video testimonials released over a fortnight? The more serious criticism related to Rahul not consulting the party seniors. At a party conference on Monday, P Chidambaram made it be known that Rahul did sometimes seek his opinion, “but not for these videos”. Sources said Sonia consulted the party leaders and prepared exhaustively before arriving at a viewpoint and making it public, but no one knew whom Rahul had consulted.

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