Priyanka for national role as well
If the Congress does well in Uttar Pradesh in 2017 Assembly polls, then Priyanka Gandhi will be the face of the Congress party in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Priyanka has been sent to UP only to clear the way for Rahul Gandhi.
Sources close to Rahul were keen to send Priyanka to UP because the thinking in the party is that if Priyanka goes to UP then Rahul will get a free hand to work and will be projected as the PM candidate. Or else, if Priyanka remains in Delhi, the demand for her projection will grow creating problems for Rahul.
But in between, if Rahul fails to show an impact then it will be Priyanka again who will be summoned to take the lead. But she, too, has to prove herself in the UP Assembly polls in 2017 and improve the strength of the Congress in the most populous state in the country which was once the Congress stronghold.
BJP TALKING TO AJIT SINGH FOR MERGER OF RLD BEFORE ASSEMBLY POLL
Satpal Singh, the police commissioner in 2014 of Mumbai who resigned from his post to join the BJP is sulking. He was not included in the Cabinet reshuffle just because he defeated Ajit Singh, the jat supremo. The BJP is keen to have some kind of understanding with Ajit Singh - preferably they want a merger. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is said to be talking to Ajit Singh. After Anupriya Patel, the BJP is working on Ajit Singh as Amit Shah does not want to leave any stone unturned or spare any caste. The BJP has even promised him Rajya Sabha but the problem is that Singh is even bargaining with Mulayam Singh and Shivpal Yadav. The Samajwadi Party also wants Ajit to merge his RLD to with SP. But there are cracks in the SP family, Ramgopal Singh Yadav is opposed to Ajit Singh.
AKALIS ARE AT LOGGERHEADS WITH BJP BEFORE ELECTIONS IN PUNJAB
The Akali Minister in Narendra Modi government, Harsimrat Kaur Badal’s presence at Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav’s iftaar party has set the tongues wagging. The Badals are said to be looking for fresh options particularly after Navjot Singh Siddhu has been made in charge of Punjab by the BJP leadership. Siddhu, who is at loggerheads with Sukhbir Singh Badal, has refused to campaign for the Akalis.
It is only a matter of time when the BJP-Akali divorce will be official. But before that, the Badals want to sew up a new alliance. The Badals have also been part of the anti-BJP front earlier and Harsimrat’s presence is being seen in that perspective.
ADVANI FINDS NO CASE AGAINST ACCUSED TRINAMOOL MPs
The fate of the seven Trinamool MPs allegedly implicated in the Narad sting operation hangs in a balance as their case is pending before the Ethics committee of Parliament. Even Rahul Gandhi’s parliamentary future depends on the thics committee which is also probing the alleged case of his British Citizenship.
But fortunately for both Rahul Gandhi and the Trinamool MPs, the ethics committee is headed by the BJP’s “marg darshak” committee member LK Advani. Advani was heard telling his confidantes that there is no case against either Rahul or the Trinamool MPs.
LEADING SOCIALITE-CUM-FIXER IS IN TROUBLE WITH A SENIOR MINISTER
A socialite-cum-fixer who was in news for his book release in London, got into some trouble back home recently. Known for being a loudmouth, he boasted to a well-known industrialist of his proximity to a very senior minister and said that he could facilitate any work that was temporarily stalled.
What the socialite-turned-fixer did not know was that the industrialist was visiting the same minister that very day. The loudmouth got a stern earful from the concerned minister saying that if he ever heard such low-level gossip about himself, he would break all contacts with him.
BJP MP FROM JHARKHAND GETS TONGUE LASHING FROM AMIT SHAH
A controversial industrial group fixer turned BJP MP from Jharkhand, was caught off guard recently. He planned a meeting of all rebel factions at his luxurious farmhouse in Delhi in order to emerge as a kingmaker of a new dispensation in the state.
Taking help from a former senior Union Minister, he arranged a dinner meeting at which several MLAs and powerful party bosses of the state would plan the fall of the sitting Chief Minister and the rise of one more inclined to serve the ambitious MPs corporate interests.
The plan fell flat when party president Amit Shah learnt about it and then called him up and threatened him of dire consequences if more such conspiracies were hatched. Shah told him that there were several such matters pending against him which could be taken up. Last heard he was silently licking his wounds.
LOK SABHA SPEAKER SUMITRA MAHAJAN IS UNHAPPY
The speaker Sumitra Mahajan is not a very happy person these days. She is extremely upset with Seema Gupta, the CEO of Lok Sabha Channel. Seema is a direct appointee of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She has been parachuted right from Gujarat by Modi and does not listen to Mahajan.
PM WARNS MINISTERS OF NOT INVOLVING FAMILY MEMBERS IN GOVERNANCE
Prime Minister Modi while talking to the newly inducted Ministers warned them among other things on phone tapping and sting operations. He also warned them in keeping their family members away from the decision-making process. It is rumoured that one minister was shifted to a relatively lighter portfolio for the interference of family members in the process of governance.
(The views expressed are strictly personal.)