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The taming of the shrew

Congress silences BJP over Robert Vadra
The UPA government is now using the arm-twisting method to tame the opposition. The union parliamentary affairs minister Kamalnath on Tuesday threatened the leaders of the opposition parties that if they didn’t allow Parliament to function, the government can call it sine die and can even go for elections. This is not the only threat. To silence the BJP on the Vadra issue, if the buzz in the corridors of power is to be believed, the government is supposed to have conveyed to the shouting brigade that they have enough proof of the BJP beneficiaries in Haryana and Uttarakhand. If it is the son-in-law of the Congress president, it can be the sons or daughters of the BJP leaders also. As a result, Digvijaya’s tweet on Arun Jaitley’s wealth. But more interesting is the buzz that it is the result of the infighting within the BJP. And Digvijaya has been given those facts by some BJP leader.

PM's Narsimha praise stuns all

Congress watchers were stunned on 15 August when they heard Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s speech. In his last Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort, the prime minister shocked one and all both in the party and outside and gave the entire credit for his political rise to his mentor and Guru P V Narasimha Rao and not to Sonia Gandhi, who made him the prime minister and gave him the free hand to go ahead with the economic reforms. Congress insiders were later heard saying ‘God Help Manmohan Singh Kohli.’ Perhaps, he has forgotten that Narasimha Rao, the only Congress PM and president of the party, whose body, after his death was not even allowed entry in the Congress premises of 24 Akbar Road, forget the VIP campus of the dead.

MP's to desert the sinking Congress ship

With Lok Sabha elections round the corner and the Congress chips down, many Congress MPs have already started looking for fresher pastures. While Ajit Jogi in Chhattisgarh, who has been sidelined, is revolting. He is toying with two options: one to float his own dalit tribal party and have an alliance with Mayawati, or, two, join the BSP. In Uttar Pradesh, where the Congress is facing a severe downslide, at least eight of the 22 MPs are in touch with other parties. The names making rounds of those who can give the party a jolt and say adieu just before the elections are of the working committee member Beni Prasad Verma. Beni, a Kurmi, who was made to join the Congress before the 2009 Lok Sabha polls in UP, has failed to adjust to the Congress norms despite the fact that he was made a minister and even inducted in the apex body of the party the Congress Working Committee. He failed to bring the OBC votes in the party despite his high profile projection. His son also lost in the assembly polls. Beni, who cannot resist the temptation of speaking his mind, is said to be in touch with Mayawati.  If Beni says adieu, his archrival P L Punia, who is in touch with Mulayam Singh Yadav, may finally not go.

Modi strikes minority
The minorities are again under threat in Modi’s Gujarat. This time it is the Sikh community that is facing the threat. Punjabi farmers mainly belonging to the Sikh community, who have bought land and doing agriculture in Gujarat and who are fighting a legal battle against the Gujarat government in the Supreme Court of India against eviction and freezing of their agricultural accounts have alleged that they were threatened with dire consequences if they spoke anything against Narendra Modi. In a statement of case submitted before the apex court by their lawyer, barrister-at-law Himmat Singh Shergill, on 19 August, the farmers have alleged that after meeting the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh regarding their case against eviction from Gujarat, some goons of the chief minister Narendra Modi started visiting their homes in Kutch saying that if they uttered a word against the CM, they would have to face dire consequences.  

Sheila woos autowallahs for battleground Delhi

The Delhi voters are aghast at the manner in which both Sheila Dikshit and the Aam Aadmi Party are falling over each other to please the auto rickshaw drivers, so used to fleece the common man. While Arvind Kejriwal’s men have hired hundreds of these autowallahs in their campaign against the Sheila Dikhsit government. The AAP’s provocative slogans pasted behind the autos has not brought any wrinkle of worry on Sheila’s forehead. On the contrary, the Delhi CM has a counter strategy in place. She recently asked the petroleum minister Veerappa Moily to give insurance cover to thousands of auto rickshaw drivers. Moily is believed to have readily obliged.  Now to the Aam Aadmi Party leaders dismay Sheila can now be seen photographed with auto rickshaw unions.

Sushma cries foul over Modi's rise
Narendra Modi will be declared the BJP’s PM candidate only after the Assembly polls. The postponement of the announcement has come in the wake of Sushma Swaraj’s threat to resign from the post of the LOP in Lok Sabha.  Sushma Swaraj, who has been opposing the timing of Modi’s announcement, has reportedly conveyed to the party that already Modi is the de facto PM, why is the party in a hurry to make him de-jure. And, if the party is in such a hurry, there is no need to have a leader of opposition. She is ready to resign because there cannot be two shadow prime ministers.
How can she continue as the LOP, who in a parliamentary democracy, is the shadow PM. But once Modi is announced the PM candidate, he automatically becomes the shadow PM. This threatening seems to be working and the BJP leadership is toying with the idea of announcing Modi’s candidature for the Prime Ministership only after the Assembly polls.

Meanwhile, Sushma, who had stopped talking to the media for the last one year, broke her silence on Tuesday. Sushma had been upset with the media who she alleged had misquoted her as having said that Hamid Ansari did not have the stature to become the president. But having realised that if she does not talk, then Arun Jaitley, the Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, will hog all the limelight and she would be a isolated, she came to L K Advani’s room and briefed the media on the all party meeting.
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