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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014
Keeping tabs on the political grapevine
Hindustan Times
New Delhi, June 24, 2013
First Published: 22:29 IST(24/6/2013)
Last Updated: 01:45 IST(25/6/2013)

Shuffling the cards left behind

With the reshuffle in the Congress and the UPA government over, those who missed the bus are hopeful of being appointed as governors.

Among them are Major Ved Prakash, Captain Praveen Davar and Imran Kidwai. Though the AICC departments are yet to be reconstituted, these functionaries are hopeful of ‘suitable accommodation’. There is a possibility that some governors may be changed and a few others shifted in the coming days.

Congress circles are abuzz about the transfer of Karnataka governor HR Bhardwaj to politically volatile Andhra Pradesh, which is in turmoil over the Telangana issue and where the Congress graph is on the downslide. Some consolations prizes may be handed out now.

Is he going to fix the party?

After his removal from the Congress Working Committee, senior leader from Punjab Jagmeet Singh Brar is running a campaign for fielding party stalwarts from the state in the next Lok Sabha elections to defeat the Shiromani Akali Dal.

Brar has suggested that former Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh should be fielded against Harsimrat Kaur Badal from Bhatinda.

He also wants Preneet Kaur and Partap Singh Bajwa to seek re-election to the Lok Sabha from Patiala and Gurdaspur respectively. State leaders are wondering whether Brar wants to ‘fix’ these leaders or is genuinely concerned about the party’s fortunes in the state. A very sporting loser, it would seem.

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DMK did not look before leaping

DMK chief M Karunanidhi deputed his party’s senior leader TR Baalu to meet Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to seek the support of five Congress MLAs for his daughter Kanimozhi’s re-election to the Rajya Sabha. Baalu was in for a surprise when he called on Gandhi.

The Congress president did not mince any words in reminding his party that only three months ago it had withdrawn support to the UPA on the issue of the Sri Lankan Tamils. Now, the DMK was back to seeking the Congress’ help. DMK sources say Baalu managed to just mutter “Madam, it was the party’s decision.

Now, our leader needs your help.” In March, when the DMK withdrew support, Gandhi had similarly given a piece of her mind to DMK leaders led by MK Alagiri when they had called on her. Now, Karunanidhi awaits her decision with bated breath. Eating a bit of humble pie.

Leading from the back

When the recent calamity hit Uttarakhand, chief minister Vijay Bahuguna was missing in action. So much so that even several Congress chief ministers were not able to contact him despite informing his office in Dehradun.

It is said that at the time of the tragedy, Bahuguna was in Delhi and preparing to leave for an official trip to Britain. It was only by Wednesday when the television channels showed pictures of devastation that the tour was cancelled.

His government had also come under criticism for vanishing from the affected area for almost 24 hours after the tragedy even as locals provided relief and assistance. The state government was able to set up helplines at Dehradun only when the Army and the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) personnel started relief operations. A search party for the CM?

His lineage may work here

The BJP’s outreach to youth in Bihar has acquired a clear Narendra Modi stamp. Madhukeshwar Desai, 25, the great-grandson of former Prime Minister Morarji Desai, has been elevated to the post of the BJP youth wing’s in-charge for Bihar.

Desai, who is also related on the maternal side to the family of Ram Krishna Hegde, is a law graduate from Bangalore. He is believed to have been made BJP youth wing national vice-president at Modi’s insistence.

At a time when the BJP and JD(U) have broken their alliance over Modi’s elevation as the BJP’s campaign chief, the coming days are going to be interesting with a Gujarati close to Modi being given charge of enlisting youth support in Bihar. And we thought Modi shunned dynastic politics.


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