Millennium Post

War of wits

War of wits
CRACKS WIDEN BETWEEN
CONGRESS, NCP

The war is on between the Congress leadership and the NCP chief Sharad Pawar. Pawar, for whom this is the last battle of his survival, can sever his ties with the Congress in the forthcoming elections in Maharashtra. The cracks are already visible. On Monday when Ghulam Nabi Azad made a walk out from Rajya Sabha on the issue of price rise, he wanted the entire opposition to join him. They all went out but Pawar kept sitting and when his MP DP Tripathi tried getting up, Pawar signalled him to keep sitting. Before that he also met Narendra Modi putting pressure on the Congress leadership to fall in line. Pawar has been pressurising the Congress leadership to replace the chief minister Prithviraj Chavan against whom the anti incumbency is very high. Second, he wants to lead the campaign himself. But the Congress does not seem to behave well with any of its allies. It is yet to respond.

RAMYA CALLS THE  SHOTS
IN KARNATAKA

Ramya, the actress who became the member of Lok Sabha in 2013 for eight months from Mandya in Karnataka, is the talk of the town both in Delhi’s circles as well as in Bangalore. The reason is her proximity to Rahul Gandhi. In Bangalore she is a subject of envy. As per the Congress leaders from Karnataka, Ramya means controversy. When she filed her nomination papers for the first time, she left the column of her father blank. But the entire Bangalore knows who her father is. She is believed to be the daughter of the ex CM of Karnataka. She was introduced to Delhi’s political circles by her godfather Ambreesh, the actor who later became the MoS for I&B in the Congress regime. But once she was elected she shunned Ambreesh as she developed proximity to Rahul Gandhi and thus started flexing her muscles on the Bangalore leaders.  Wary of her growing might, the Congress leaders including Ambreesh and Krishna Gowda, a young minister in the state, joined hands to get her defeated in the 2014 elections. Ramya may have lost the election but she continues to be the most powerful woman in Karnataka.

BJP’S TOBACCO TANTRUMS
While it took ten years for the Manmohan Singh government to be charged for corruption but with just one month in power the Narendra Modi ministers are in the scanner. The tongues have already started wagging. The buzz in the market is that the tobacco lobby is looking for someone who can broker the deal between them and the health minister. Questions are being asked why did Harsh Vardhan raise the tobacco issue? Again why did the Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu raise the issue of the unauthorised colonies and the Sainik Farms? The NDA was in power in earlier also but they did not bother to raise the issue.

NOW RSS SHOWS MODI-WEARINESS
The RSS may have surrendered to Modi but the RSS leaders are not very happy with the BJP’s decision to make Amit Shah the president of the party. Besides the fact that both the party president and the prime minister are from Gujarat, the party has only buckled under the might of Narendra Modi. The thinking in the RSS is that Modi may have now got absolute power and that is in view of the forthcoming assembly elections scheduled for this year. But the RSS leaders are also determined to show Modi his place. According to a view from Jhandewalan, things are bound to change after the elections in the four states of Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand and even Delhi. Once the Modi wave disappears in the assembly polls, he would have to fall in line. The RSS leaders claim that success in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections cannot be the claim of Modi alone. How can he ignore the contribution of the RSS in the BJP victory? the RSS is likely to teach Modi a lesson for his arrogance. The popes of Jhandewalan may again take a back seat and leave it on Modi and Amit Shah to let them prove that he alone can win these states. First Modi is not going to be CM in any of the states, so in one stroke he loses by half. Second, in the absence of the RSS how much Modi will succeed in the states is to be seen.

KARUNANIDHI BANKS
ON OLD FRIENDS

The people of Tamil Nadu may have rejected Karunanidhi but he is hoping that old friends will not mete out similar treatment to him. Recently, his daughter Kanimozhi who is also with other Rajya Sabha MPs, even carried her father’s letter to President Pranab Mukherjee in which he has drawn the president’s attention to the atrocities inflicted on the Tamil nationals in Sri Lanka as well as the contemporary issues in Tamil Nadu. Thanks to her father’s connections she even managed to meet some Union Ministers which included the Railway Minister who received a memorandum on rail projects in Tamil Nadu. The DMK chief must be actually happy that his old friends have not forgotten him unlike the voters of Tamil Nadu.

MODI’s MEN SEEK OUT
MANMOHAN SINGH

The man the BJP brass once loved to call the weakest prime minister is again become their favourite Congressman. In a bid to create a wedge between the Congress president and the ex-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the BJP leadership is going out to woo him. The BJP may not give the LoP post to the Congress but has offered to Singh to lead a delegation of 12 MPs to the UN assembly meet scheduled for the third week of September. If Narendra Modi’s men in the PMO succeed in convincing the ex PM to be part of the delegation, then they would be saving themselves the worry of finding someone to fill the Congress quota. Having addressed the UN assembly several times, Modi’s men hope Singh will finally agree to the offer and save PM. If this happens, then it would not be the first time that this honour is being bestowed on some leader of the opposition. Rajiv Gandhi, when he was PM, had sent Vajpayee to New York to lead the Indian delegation to UN but with a purpose to get him treated. The former PM Narasimha Rao had also sent Vajpayee to the UN assembly to counter the Pakistan propaganda where as Atal Behari Vajpayee too had sent Sonia Gandhi as leader of the Indian delegation to UN meet on HIV/AIDS. The BJP that had attacked Singh throughout for policy paralysis is also consulting him on the Budget. Scared of the BJP’s intentions, the Congress too is now consulting Manmohan on all crucial issues. Though he hardly reacts, but he is also been included in the newly constituted strategy committee of the Congress.

UTTAR PRADESH CONGRESS SPLIT WIDE OPEN
Revolt is simmering in the Uttar Pradesh Congress against the party high command. Beni Prasad Verma and Raj Babbar, who had migrated from the Samajwadi Party to the Congress before the 2009 elections are now planning to leave the Congress and return back to their parent party. Both these members who were given a royal treatment by the Congress leadership are now wary of the prospects of the Congress and the inertia the Congress leadership is suffering from. Beni even boycotted the meeting of his state leaders with the Antony committee which is probing the reasons of the defeat. Beni in fact is also in touch with Mayawati and the BJP.

Wherever he gets a better deal he would join that party. For the moment all those in touch with Mulayam are looking at the 9 Rajya Sabha seats the SP has in store scheduled for November.  Besides these two outsiders the Congress workers to are extremely upset with Rahul for imposing Madhusudan Mistry on the up leaders. All those who met Antony on Tuesday were abusing Mistry and their main grouse was that they want him to be removed as he had no understanding of the UP politics.
Nora Chopra

Nora Chopra

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