The AICC is undergoing a reshuffle, though not of the office-bearers. The rooms of some functionaries and the media department have been shifted. Also, some office-bearers have been accommodated in others’ rooms. Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad will now have to share his room with Karan Singh and Jayanthi Natarajan. Seeing the changes, a party leader remarked, “Are these an indication of things to come?” Apparently, he was referring to the much-awaited reshuffle in the AICC.
Not tied up in knots
At the National Film Awards ceremony held recently, President Pratibha Patil showed an endearing side of herself. When she gave cinematographer V.K. Murthy the Dada Saheb Phalke Award for lifetime achievement, the medal came strung on a ribbon. The aide-de-camp, who handed it to Patil, forgot to knot the award. When Patil realised that photographers were waiting for a shot, she lifted her hand to Murthy’s shoulder and held the open end of the ribbon in place so that his hands remained free to hold the placard up.
A senior moment here
During an interaction with women journalists, Rajya Sabha MP Jaya Bachchan turned the tables on a young journalist. The journalist asked, “Agar Sonia aap ko bulayengi to kya aap Congress mein jaoge? (Will you join the Congress if Sonia calls you?) Bachchan’s reply came pat: “You refer to her as if she were your relative. She is a very senior person, a respected leader of a national political party and definitely older than you. You must have some respect when you refer to such senior people,” she said.
The state of affairs
To revive the Congress in UP, Rural Development Minister C.P. Joshi wants to amend the Panchayati Raj Act to make it mandatory for state governments to appoint gram sevaks (officials mandated to monitor works in panchayats), who can be held accountable for implementing the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. He is not eyeing the nation but UP, where employment under the programme has been among the lowest in the country. Joshi sought PM Manmohan Singh’s approval to amend the law but his idea did not evoke much response, as panchayat is a state subject.
Party time in the BJP
Stung by the criticism that he was not bold enough to remove the deadwood in the BJP, party chief Nitin Gadkari is taking no chances in getting inputs on who will make the best president for the party in UP. He has hired researchers to give him feedback on who among the state BJP leaders commands the respect of the cadre. His predecessor, Rajnath Singh, has expressed his desire to play a big role in reshaping the party in UP. “I am not going to go by one faction or the other,” Gadkari has said to state leaders who are wary of Singh getting more leverage in deciding the new set-up.
Name of the game
An NCP member in the Rajya Sabha often faces the problem of colleagues not being able to say his name properly. In the recent session, it left even Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien commenting, “Ranjitsinh P.V. Mohite Patil lambaa naam hai.” Patil smiled stoically; the smile of those who are used to this.