All eyes on PM Narendra Modi's Independence Day speech

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver his Independence Day speech this week — one for which he has sought suggestions from all Indians. What will he say? Will he speak of the tension on the India-China border? Will he mention Pakistan? Will he rebut charges of jobless growth in the Indian economy? What – or whom – will he hail as India’s achievement?

Cabinet reshuffle after Aug 15

The clock will start ticking for the ministerial and gubernatorial reshuffle that is likely to take place any time after Independence Day, maybe as early as the week beginning August 21. Arun Jaitley has the defence and finance portfolios after Manohar Parrikar shifted to Goa as chief minister. Venkaiah Naidu’s portfolios — information & broadcasting and urban development — have stand-in ministers. The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Janata Dal (United) have to be accommodated. Plus a whole lot of gubernatorial positions are vacant, not to speak of vacancies at the level of ministers of state.

Re-unification gathers pace

Reunification of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) will gather speed this week, even as jailed party leader Sasikala’s nephew, T T V Dinakaran, embarks on a state-wide tour from Monday to assess how much of the cadre is with him. Chief Minister Edappady Palaniswamy has already announced merger of the two factions would happen “very soon”. One interpretation is that it is linked to the reshuffle of the Union Cabinet where O Panneerselvam (OPS) might be named minister, giving Palaniswamy free run of Tamil Nadu. The CM has already distanced himself from Sasikala, a condition OPS put before merging his faction back into the AIADMK. Some developments are expected this week.

Shah’s new motto

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah will wind up his Karnataka tour on Monday. It commenced on Saturday and on Monday he will meet party leaders as well as leaders from 11 parliamentary constituencies who lost the 2014 Lok Sabha election. Shah’s overall message is expected to be: Stop squabbling and start working. He has already anointed B S Yeddyurappa the next chief minister, should the BJP come to power. Yeddyurappa is leaving no stone unturned in gathering support for the party but is faced with acute factionalism.

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