Millennium Post

Time to bid him goodbye


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to retire from active politics in 2014. Though Singh will again be elected to Rajya Sabha in June this year, but he is reportedly reluctant to take another term. There is also a view that Singh, after serving a historic tenure of 10 years as prime minister, should this time contest the Lok Sabha in 2014. A debate has however broken out in the party that under whose leadership the Congress should go to polls in 2014: Rahul Gandhi or Manmohan Singh. While Rahul will be the chief campaigner, he is reluctant to lead the party. On the other hand, Manmohan Singh, too, is said to be unwilling to lead the party in 2014. The buzz is that he would announce his retirement before 2014.


Despite the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s efforts to broker peace, the war in Delhi continues unabated. Both the Delhi PCC President Jaiprakash Agarwal and chief minister Shiela Dikshit have refused to join hands to work together to get the party elected in 2014. Jaiprakash Agarwal has served an ultimatum to the high command to choose between him and Sheila. Agarwal is supposed to have told Rahul Gandhi that things have reached such an impasse that it is impossible for him to work with the Delhi CM. He’s believed to have told Rahul that with Sheila at the helm, it is not possible for the Congress to be re-elected both in the assembly polls due later this year as well as the parliamentary polls in 2014.

He has said that it is up to the high command to decide whom they want to continue with. If they want to continue with Sheila, he would like to opt out. But if the party wants to win the elections in Delhi, and also want to continue with him, they have to change Sheila.


The AICC general secretary in charge of Delhi, Choudhury Virender Singh, whose own fate hangs in a balance as complaints are piling against him from all states, is charged with both alleged corruption, his proximity to women, promoting factionalism and promoting his women protégés in politics. Virender Singh has sent four names to Rahul Gandhi for Agarwal’s possible successor and DPCC chief. The names are of Mahabal Mishra MP, Raj Kumar Chauhan – minister in Sheila’s cabinet but charged of alleged corruption, Naseeb Singh – parliamentary secretary and Rajesh Lilotia – a Dalit MLA. Virender Singh, who is likely to be sacked in the next party reshuffle, is playing footsy to the Delhi CM to save his own skin.


S M Khan, DG Doordarshan news, has once again bounced back to power. Sanjiv Srivastava, the consulting editor of the Prime Time DD news, along with a battery of anchors hired on exorbitant salaries, have been cut to size. Srivastava and his gang of news anchors, who were the favoured lot with no accountability and were their own bosses, have now to report to Khan and take clearance from him and the CEO Prasar Bharati, Jawahar Sarkar. Those in the government that matter are said to have taken serious cognizance of the recent goof ups committed by these highly paid new recruits. It happened after a programme on Italian marines where guest Tarun Vijay, a BJP MP, pointed to Sonia Gandhi’s possible involvement because of her Italian antecedents! DD bureaucracy took serious note of it and SM Khan had to mount another programme on the same subject to balance the results. After that, a directive has been issued that the programmes and guest list will have to be cleared by Sarkar and Khan.


Sharad Yadav ka bhi dil machalta hai! Sharad Yadav is famous for his conservative and orthodox views but no one in Indian political circles can claim that this old hat has ever shown tendency for any dalliance or romance. Extremely against the freedom of women and rights, Yadav, who had once, while opposing reservation to women in parliament, had called a modern woman parkati (clipped wings), revealed on Tuesday in his speech on anti rape laws that his heart too flutters! He put the blame squarely on women forcing men to stalk when item songs like Sheila ki jawani
and Munni badnam hui are relayed and items girls with the way they dress can make any man’s heart beat. He opposed the provision of stalking being made a criminal offence and blamed women for that. He told Sushilkumar Shinde, Aapke dil mein bhi to kuch kuch hota hoga. Akhir hum bhi insaan hain hamara bhi dil machalta hai.


Unlike his predecessor Pawan Bansal, the parliamentary affairs minister Kamalnath is more popular with the opposition, particularly the BJP. While the media and Congress MPs can be heard lamenting about his arrogance, but the BJP MPs are all praise for him for he knows how to keep them in good humour. Recently, when he was attending a meeting with the opposition leaders at the Lok Sabha speaker’s chamber, Nath immediately proposed that the budget discussion should take place for eight hours on which the leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj objected. She said that every year, 12 hours are allotted for debate on the general budget. Without batting his eyelids, Nath promptly replied, Aap to jaanti hain, main is ministry mein naya naya aya hoon, mujhe pata nahin tha pehle kya hota tha. Theek hai 12 ghante hi charcha hogi. Sushma was all praise for his humility, something not known to his colleagues in the Congress. (IPA)
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