Millennium Post

Varun and the ghost of Sanjay Gandhi


The UPCC chief Nirmal Khatri can breathe easy. There will be no change of leadership in UP. As all other parties in UP are jostling for the rudderless Brahmin votes, the Congress is taking them for granted. In a setback to the general secretary in-charge of UP, Digvijaya Singh, who was insisting on changing the state leadership and have a Brahmin PCC chief in place of an ailing and unpopular Nirmal Khatri, on Monday Rahul Gandhi appointed eight zonal heads and eight co-ordinating committee heads and caged 31 DCC and City Congress Committee heads. The appointments were done in haste in the absence of Digvijaya who left for US to attend the graduation ceremony of his son. These appointments are a clear signal that there will be no change of leadership. This is a major setback for Diggy who wanted an ailing and ineffective Khatri to be replaced by a credible Brahmin face in the caste ridden UP. The appointments made this week are nothing to talk about with no credible face except the fact that the party has focused on faceless Muslims. There are 13 Muslim DCC and CCC presidents, one zonal head and two coordinators, but not a single known face. Rahul Gandhi has also tried to woo the OBCs who have never been Congress voters in the state. Brahmins, the core base of the Congress, however, have been taken for granted with just a negligible presence. The whole exercise seems to be aimed at cutting Digvijaya Singh to size.


The Lok Sabha elections of 2014 is likely to be a litmus test for the other Gandhi scion in the BJP. If Varun Gandhi succeeds in the responsibilities given to him for 2014 and the BJP manages to form the government in UP in 2017, Varun  will be the chief minister of the state. He has at least been heard telling that to people in Sultanpur from where he would be contesting in 2014. ‘You had held my father’s hand and now I have come to hold your hand,’ reminding them of the time when his father Sanjay Gandhi had won in 1980 from Amethi parliamentary constituency, which was then a part of Sultanpur district. But what he forgot to remember was that in 1984, soon after his father’s death, his mother Maneka Gandhi had contested from Amethi only to lose to his uncle Rajiv Gandhi. But despite his projection by the BJP high command, he has already started showing his true colours. In a real contrast to his cousin, who like his father Rajiv is extremely polite, Varun takes on after his father Sanjay Gandhi, against the tyranny of whom the entire BJP brass of those days L K Advani, M M Joshi, Arun Jaitley had raised their flag of protest and were packed off to jails after Emergency was clamped by his grandmother on behest of his father. Varun, in his true Sanjay Gandhi style, has been overheard telling MLAs, ‘Meri chappal uthaoge tabhi tumhe ticket milega’. His father too had made a senior leader like Narain Dutt Tiwari lift his chappals. His behaviour is causing great glee in Congress circles, where they believe that his Sanjay Gandhi-like behaviour will prove to be the BJP’s undoing.       


Questions are being raised as to why did Neeraj Kumar catch the IPL fixers, and why has the IPL commissioner and BCCI vice president switched off his phone? If wags are to be believed then Neeraj Kumar did it to save himself from the already certain pre-retirement leave. He had been told to go on leave when his mentors in the BCCI gave him the tip off. If one remembers correctly, then Neeraj Kumar was being supported by Arun Jaitley and other BJP leaders, plus Rajiv Shukla of the Congress for the CBI directors post  against Ranjit Sinha. Again the most media savvy UPA minister and face of the Indian cricket Rajiv Shukla, who is always ready to give a byte, has suddenly gone silent. Now, the question is why?


Jairam Ramesh is under the scanner. Search has been sounded for the Congress leader who leaked the news of the differences between the Congress President Sonia Gandhi and the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Sonia was so upset that she told a Congress leader who went to meet her that how can the media know what was happening inside the room where there were only two persons. The point of suspicion is said to be on Jairam Ramesh. The grapevine says that it was this loudmouth who spread the rumour.  (IPA)
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