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The new mascot of the NDA

The new mascot of the NDA
BJP Ropes in Sharad Yadav as its Secular Frontman

Sharad Yadav is the new mascot of the NDA, which has decided to prop up the socialist and secular face of the JD(U) chief. In its bid to expand its base, the BJP has authorised the NDA convenor Sharad Yadav to talk to the possible allies who are reluctant to have any dialogue with the BJP. After joining Mamata in her rally, Sharad would now join Om Prakash Chautala in his rally and then would even go to Hyderabad to attend Chandra Babu Naidu’s rally. All these people have a problem talking to BJP directly as they are all concerned about their Muslim support base. The thinking in the BJP is that all these parties were once the BJP allies, but now because of the minority support base they are reluctant to return to the NDA. But the effort within the BJP is that even if they do not join the NDA, then at least they can form a front and form government with BJP support. By projecting Sharad as their mascot, the BJP also wants to counter Nitish Kumar, who is set to part ways with the BJP on the Modi issue and wants the leadership in his hands.


Henpecked by Allies, Congress Defers Cabinet Reshuffle

The most awaited cabinet reshuffle has been postponed but when will it take place is not decided yet. The reshuffle has been deferred not only for the inauspicious Shraad period, but for much more serious reasons. One of the main reasons was the recalcitrant allies. The DMK has refused to join the cabinet unless the government bails out Kanimozhi in the 2G Case. The DMK chief Karunanidhi has made it categorically clear that there can be no talk with the Congress till Kanimozhi case is solved. And if he joins, he wants the railways. His charge is that for 60 years the railways has been with the north India; so it should now come to south India. The Congress is not willing to give it to any ally. The DMK patriarch is even upset with the Congress for sending a low level functionary like V Narayanaswany to talk to him. Another cause for the postponement of the reshuffle was the Petroleum ministry. Manmohan Singh is under pressure from Mukesh Ambani to remove Jaipal Reddy. But if Jaipal goes then the question is who will replace him?  The party does not have any alternatives. Sonia wants to replace S. M. Krishna with Shivraj Patil. But the Prime Minister is opposed to it. Sonia wants to send Krishna to Karnataka, but there is no alternative to him. Then, there is the Prithvirj Chavan issue. Despite pressure from within the Congress, the PM cannot be seen bringing him to Delhi at this juncture. It would mean straight surrender to the NCP. Then, the Congress is working to get either SP or BSP, any one of them, to join the cabinet. Finally, since Mamata’s exit from the UPA-II, the party was also facing pressure from the West Bengal state Congress leaders to accommodate them into the cabinet!


Delhi Congress Taking Credit for DUSU Victory

There is a great rush in the Delhi Congress to take the credit for the victory of the NSUI in the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) Elections. The Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit is going around taking the credit. Even JP Agarwal, who has been sidelined in the entire episode, claims credit. But the actual credit goes to none other but the Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. All the four elected candidates — from the President Arun Hooda, Varun Chaudhury – General Secretary, and Varun Khari and Raveena Choudhury – the Joint Secretaries — are either Jat or Gujjar with a Haryana background. They got elected on the strength of the students living in Outer Delhi with Haryana connection. The Jats and Gujjars, who came to power before Bhupinder Hooda’s reign in Haryana, were actually supporters of BJP and the Devilal family, who had never voted for the Congress. It is only now after Hooda came to power in Haryana that these Jats and Gujjars that they have converted to Congress.


Congress Shows Up En Masse at Kidwai Bash

Imran Kidwai is no minister, nor is he the general secretary of the Congress party. He is only the chairman of the minority department of the AICC, but his stature is no less than any heavy weight in their party. This was proved at the reception ceremony of his son last week at the Le Meridian hotel. Name anyone and everyone was there to bless the young couple, starting from Sonia Gandhi, who came early and stayed there for nearly half an hour. Ahmad Patel, for the first time, was seen coming with his entire family — his wife, daughter, son, his daughter-in-law and even grand children. In fact, he stayed till late night. The Vice President Hamid Ansari and most of the ministers, including Anand Sharma, a friend of his Youth Congress days who came with his brother; Muklul Wasnik, also an old friend from his youth; Suresh Pachauri, also an ex Youth Congress colleague; as well as prominent members such as Ghulam Nabi Azad, Salman Khurshid, Beni Prasad Verma, PL Punia, Jitin Prasad were all present. Mohsina Kidwai, his sister-in-law, was also there with the entire Kidwai clan.  Deepa Dasmunshi came all the way from Kolkata to attend the ceremony. All the chairmen of the minorities in the state were present — from the AICC chief Janardhan Diwedi, to Motilal Vora, Digvijay Singh, Vilas Muttemvyar, Shakeel Ahmad.  After all, Imran Kidwai had been part of the Congress movement and he proved it with a capital gala.


Rahul’s Favourites Get Good Placements


All of Rahul Gandhi’s favourite ministers are on a high these days. After Veerappa Moily was given additional charge of Power, along with Corporate Affairs, Sushil Kumar Shinde was made the home minister. And now another Rahul favourite has been given additional charge of Railways with the instructions that he has to go ahead with the UPA’s agenda of privatising the Railways. But despite all these rewards, CP Joshi nurses a grouse that he was forced out from the rural development ministry by Aruna Roy and the other NGOs. He had a running battle with Roy and her NGO, who wanted minimum wages in the NREGA to be implemented universally. He had just asked them to make it an act or else or it was not possible, as this would mean a huge burden on the exchequer.


Home Minister Partying with Ashok Jain


Who is this Ashok Jain? If you want any access or get your work done from the home minister of India Sushil Kumar Shinde, then please contact Mr. Ashok Jain — a resident of Safdarjung development area who deals in liquor business. The home minister visits his house quite often and has even been spotted at almost all the parties thrown by Jain, including some
mujra
parties in five star hotels. Jain is  frequently seen moving around the ministries housing his portfolios. Sources close to Shinde reveal that the HM has known the businessman for last several years.


A Lonely Amar Singh

Amar Singh is a lonely and unwanted man. Nobody wants to touch him. The Congress leadership has refused to give him entry. Even the BJP is not at all keen to have him. Jaya Prada, his companion and friend of hard times, is planning to quit his company to join the BJP. Amitabh Bachchan has not even sent him an invite for his birthday. And now Mulayam Singh Yadav does not even take his calls. Mulayam’s family has warned him not to have anything to do with Amar Singh. The wily thakur has been heard telling people that Mulayam called him up but he will not join the SP. Are the grapes sour Amar Singhji?


Tariq Anwar Sulks as Reshuffle is Deferred

Poor Tariq Anwar. The postponement of the reshuffle has become a headache for him. Anwar, who was sure of his induction, had been getting congratulatory messages of mubarakbad from his well wishers and Anwar has been gleefully accepting them till yesterday. But now, after this deferment of the reshuffle, he has to tell each time he gets a call or a visitor that he has no answer.  He is flooded with calls asking when is the reshuffle and all he can say that he has no idea! [IPA]
Nora Chopra

Nora Chopra

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