A dedicated Shiv Sainik who was arrested for allegedly attacking BJP leader Kirit Somaiya’s car, a South Delhi mayor pushing for anti-encroachment drives, a Bengal IPS officer who invited CM’s ire, and Congress’ new party chiefs in Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. We bring to you the Newsmakers of the Week.
Vishwanath Mahadeshwar: former principal, ex-mayor and forever Sena
Former Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, along with seven others, was arrested this week for allegedly attacking BJP leader Kirit Somaiya’s car outside the Khar police station. He, however, got bail from the station soon after as the police had invoked bailable sections against him. Mahadeshwar had been lying low since the 2019 assembly election loss but the Somaiya episode has brought him back to the spotlight. Vishwas Waghmode tells us more about the Shiv Sainik who has been with the party for more than three decades.
Pratibha Singh: New Himachal Pradesh Congress chief
Three-time Congress MP Pratibha Singh was appointed as the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president this week. The wife of HP Congress stalwart and six-time chief minister Virbhadra Singh, Pratibha currently represents the Mandi parliamentary constituency, which she won in a bypoll last year. She has now been entrusted with the job to help the party win the upcoming polls. Her appointment as the state Congress president is a signal that the party would bank on Virbhadra’s legacy in the polls. Will her appointment help change the fortunes of the party in assembly polls later this year is something that remains to be seen.
Birbhum SP Nagendra Nath Tripathi
Facing criticism over recent incidents of violence in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on April 27 said the state police’s inaction had embarrassed her government. Among the officers who faced the CM’s ire was Birbhum Superintendent of Police (SP) Nagendra Nath Tripathi. This, however, isn’t the first time Tripathi has come into the spotlight because of an interaction with Banerjee. Who is Tripathi and why is he at the receiving end of West Bengal CM’s anger? Read Sweety Kumari’s report.
SC case to Navratras meat ban to Shaheen Bagh, a South Delhi Mayor never out of news
It was 2018 when Mukesh Suryan, then a councillor, was accused of threatening MCD officials to stop the sealing of unauthorised construction in Najafgarh Zone. Fast forward to 2022: Suryan, the Mayor of South Delhi Municipal Corporation, has now been pushing for anti-encroachment drives in Shaheen Bagh, Okhla, Jasola, Sarita Vihar and Madanpur Khadar. From his anti-sealing stand to “bulldozers” remark, it has been a slow but steady rise of Suryan. Abhinav Rajput reports.
Udai Bhan: New Haryana Congress chief
Sixty-seven-year-old Dalit leader and former MLA Udai Bhan was appointed as the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president this week. Bhan is known to be a close confidant of state party stalwart Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly and ex-chief minister. A third-generation politician, Bhan’s father Gaya Lal had led to the coinage of the widely-known political expression “Aaya Ram Gaya Ram (repeated party-hopping)” when he changed three political parties within a fortnight.
Akash Anand: Mayawati’s nephew and likely heir
Seen as someone who may succeed Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati as the party’s leader, her nephew Akash Anand is now on a tour of Rajasthan to gain an understanding of the party’s organisational strength. Anand, according to party insiders, is supervising the BSP’s preparations for the Assembly elections scheduled for next year. Read Lalmani Verma’s report on the 31-year-old BSP leader.