Millennium Post

Congress spinning around vortex of dynasty

Rahul Gandhi is now de facto president of the Congress party. The Congress president Sonia Gandhi has for all practical purposes already handed over the charge of the organisation to her son Rahul Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi last week presided over of series of meetings held at 24 Akbar Road and attended by senior leaders comprising party general secretaries, ex ministers as well as PCC chiefs and DCC chiefs. Rahul has convened these meetings which are going on in batches. 

These meetings, which are not yet over, have been convened by the vice president to find out the next course of action. He wanted to know the opinion and suggestions of all these leaders what the party should do to recover its lost base and romp back to power. 

Among those who have already attended these meetings are very senior and experienced leaders, including AK Antony, P Chidambaram, Digvijay Singh, Janardhan Dwivedi and even Ahmad Patel. Patel was called along with relatively not so important leaders like Meira Kumar, Oommen Chandy, CP Joshi, Manish Tiwari for the fourth meeting. 

While Antony, PC and Diggy were in the first group. The Congress president, however, was conspicuous by her absence. Technically the vice president of the party cannot preside in the presence of the Congress president. But this also proves that Rahul is already the unofficial party president. 

Sheila Dikshit is now out of the Delhi game. She will not lead the campaign in Delhi. Sheila Dikshit has refused to contest or lead the campaign for the party. She has made it clear to the party that was keen to field her that neither she nor her son Sandeep Dikshit would contest or campaign. Dikshit is supposed to have got a survey done which said that if she contests she will meet the same fate. But there is a view that she is now vacillating towards the BJP because of the ghost of the cases against her. 

With Sheila out, Jaikishen one of her baiters is in. Jaikishen has been inducted in the eight-member committee constituted to monitor the Delhi polls. This committee has been formed in keeping with the caste and community combinations of Delhi. Arvinder Singh Lovely PCC chief, a Sikh; Haroon Yusuf, a Muslim; JP Agarwal, a bania; Jaikishen, a Balmiki dalit; Jagdish Tytler, a Punjabi; Sajjan Kumar represents Bihar and Ajay Maken the face of the middle class.

Former editor of Outlook Sandeep Deb is busy these days with a new magazine. Deb is re-launching Swarajya a magazine once run by Chakravorty Rajagopalacharya, the first Governor General of India and later the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Among the advisers lined up for the project are Swapan Dasgupta and Surjit Bhalla. The magazine will have a daily web edition and a monthly print edition. It will not have any political affiliation but political observers feel that the magazine will be a new tossing board for the right wing ideas of PM Modi.

That the dynasty is loosing its hold over its party was on full display on 31 October, the death anniversary of the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Even till last year party leaders made it sure to be present at the Shakti Sthal early morning but this year it was a sparse show with just a handful of leaders. Except for Digavijay Singh and BK Hari Prasad, most general secretaries including Rahul favourites Madhusudan Mistry and CP Joshi were conspicuous by their absence. Sheila Dikshit, who used to be the first to reach the spot, was also missing. The first to reach and organise the commemoration was Ahmad Patel. And believe it or not the entire communication department was missing. The sole representative of the department was Shekhar Singh, the peon. Shekhar is long time associated with the AICC media cell that became the communication department now chaired by Ajay Maken. Shekhar being a Gandhi family loyalist was the only one present at the function. To name a few others, all the so-called lawyers in the Congress party from Kapil Sibal to Abhishek Singhvi to Salman Khurshid to Manish Tiwari, who made maximum name and fame minting their proximity to Gandhi family, were not there.

The government is working on a fresh bill on chit funds. To draft the prize chits and money circulation schemes (banning) Amendment bill 2014, secretary department of financial services had called a meeting to consult the industry. The target group comprised the companies engaged in direct selling but the entire list of participants had been full with representatives from one multinational direct selling company Amway. Incidentally, the company’s CEO had been arrested in Kerala and also Andhra Pradesh for violating the provisions of the PCMCS (Banning) Act now in force. Multi level marketing model followed by the company is prohibited not only in India, but in many other countries including the USA. Market watchers believe that government is planning to help the USA multinational out of its present predicament and amend the Act accordingly.

Mulayam Singh Yadav has cleared the names of his six Rajya Sabha seats but he still has surplus eight votes that he has agreed to give to the Congress candidate PL Punia who was also his secretary when he was CM. But political watchers are keeping their fingers crossed that whether Punia will win or the seat will be up for sale. Amar Singh and Akhilesh Das two money bags are also bargaining for the seventh seat. Kapil Sibal who looks after the cases of many politicians is also in queue for the seventh seat. Amar Singh and Ajit Singh might have been refused the seat because of internal pressure from within the Yadav clan including Mulayam’s son Akhilesh and Ram Gopal Yadav, but nobody has prevented any one of them from contesting. Akhilesh Das had joined the BSP after he was denied a Rajya Sabha ticket by the Congress. Now that Mayawati has refused him the seat, he is said to be hobnobbing with the MLAs and Mulayam Singh Yadav. 
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