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Mumbai confidential: Setting the stage?

Sources said that Sayyad, who is currently also the women president of Vinayak Mete-led Shivsangram, is interested in contesting the upcoming state poll from the Srigonda assembly seat in Ahmednagar.

Marathi actress Deepali Sayyad was unable to get off to a winning start on her political debut. She had lost the Lok Sabha election from Ahmednagar in 2014. But buzz is rife that she is now gearing up for her second attempt. Sources said that Sayyad, who is currently also the women president of Vinayak Mete-led Shivsangram, is interested in contesting the upcoming state poll from the Srigonda assembly seat in Ahmednagar. Sayyad herself dropped a hint regarding it this past week when she sat on a two-day hunger strike over a water supply issue pertaining to the constituency. She ended her strike on Sunday after the government took note of her protest and issued some assurances.

Bad Timing, Minister!

Bad timing or wrong place, VIPs and selfies are not always a hit. Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan is the latest one to get into trouble over the selfie fad. Two videos where the minister is seen smiling and cheerfully waving to the camera in tragedy-hit Kolhapur have, for obvious reasons, taken the social media by storm. The Opposition too has berated Mahajan’s act as being ill-timed and insensitive. And though the Chief Minister has publicly defended his senior minister, sources said he was annoyed by the controversy and gave Mahajan a piece of his mind.

Drop Out

The ongoing rescue efforts in flood-hit Western Maharashtra have forced Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to drop out of a delegation of chief ministers to Vladivostok, Russia. A delegation of BJP CMs, led by Union Commerce and Industries Minister Piyush Goyal, flew to the Russian city on Saturday to set the stage for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the far east region of Russia for the Eastern Economic Forum in September. While Fadnavis was originally part of the touring party, he had to drop out at the last minutes. The CMs who left for Russia with Goyal included Yogi Adityanath (UP), Manohar Lal Khattar (Haryana), Vijay Rupani (Gujarat), and Pramod Sawant (Goa).

Wings Clipped

The Congress may have elevated Balasaheb Thorat to its party president’s post in Maharashtra, but sources said his wings have been clipped. With not much time left for the state polls, the Congress is not in a mood to undertake a major organisational reshuffle in the state, forcing Thorat to work with party functionaries handpicked by his predecessor Ashok Chavan. Incidentally, Chavan seems to have a better media presence after stepping down from the post.

All For A Vote

As Kolhapur and Sangli were getting battered by continuous rain and floods, political parties got locked in a petty credit war. The Nationalist Congress Party first attacked the ruling BJP after bags of wheat and rice meant for flood victims in Sangli were found to have stickers with photos of CM Devendra Fadnavis and party’s Ichalkaranji MLA Suresh Halvankar. The BJP countered it, tweeting a photograph where NCP’s state president Jayant Patil’s photo was pasted on relief material. Both were slammed on social media. Miffed over the controversy, Fadnavis rebuked his party MLA and has asked party leaders to ensure pictures of any person or leader aren’t portrayed on relief material. Assembly polls in the state are due in October.

‘Invisible’ Minister

During his visit to flood-hit Sangli, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Subhash Deshmukh had to face the wrath of the people. The Opposition, too, has targetted him for “missing” in action. While Deshmukh has refuted the allegations, we can tell you that questions are being raised over his “role” in disaster management. Most senior bureaucrats and BJP’s own minister are of the opinion that he ought to have played a “more proactive” role.

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