Keeping tabs on the political grapevine.ht view Updated: Jan 18, 2011 00:14 IST
It’s just not cricket
Shashi Tharoor is an avid cricket fan and, unlike your regular ‘I love cricket’ politico, he still plays the game. Even though cricket of the IPL variety contributed to his departure from South Block, the Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram’s love for the game remains intact. A recent article in cricinfo.com bore testimony to this. In the piece Tharoor wondered, “Is there something in the national character that makes young talents taper away unfulfilled? That ensures brilliance is too easily satisfied...?” On another note, a letter that the man wrote to Sonia Gandhi has not gone in his favour. Tharoor had protested a remark in which she had bracketed Tharoor along with Natwar Singh and Ashok Chavan, both of whom had resigned on various charges. In his letter, Tharoor said there were no charges of financial corruption against him. Poor thing, the comparison with Singh and Chavan must have really hurt.
Don’t mind the gap
The timing of an MoU last week, binding the human resource development (HRD) and science and technology (S&T) ministries just ahead of a likely Cabinet reshuffle, is being seen by many government-watchers as the clearest indication yet that Kapil Sibal may soon be moving out of one of the two ministries. Sources close to the minister also concede the likelihood that the impending reshuffle played a role in the timing of the MoU. Sibal has repeatedly made it clear that he wants greater cooperation between the HRD and the S&T ministries. The MoU is being seen as his attempt to ensure that a mechanism is built to facilitate this collaboration — a common corridor that can join the two wings for him even if he is no longer in charge of both ministries.
Not many in the BJP are happy with party chief Nitin Gadkari’s much-publicised plan to study “party-building at the grassroots level” in China when he visits that country this week. “China is hardly an example for studying political parties,” commented a senior BJP leader. But Gadkari is all excited about his trip to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. For a change, he is taking his wife, Kanchan, along. Along with the couple will be general secretaries Thawarchand Gehlot and Vijay Goel, secretaries Sudan Singh, as well as political advisor Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and foreign affairs cell joint convenor Vijay Jolly. Knowing how serious Gadkari is about his trip, Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa will fly to Mumbai to wish Gadkari bon voyage. And yes, there will be plenty of Chinese meals in China for the BJP president.
Unlike previous ladies who have headed the BJP’s women wing, Smriti Irani has decided to make her presence felt in all BJP ‘shows of strength’. This has reportedly upset other morcha leaders. Despite some senior leaders trying to tell Irani that the Rashtriya Ekta march to Srinagar is a show of the BJP’s youth wing, Irani insisted on being in the limelight when the march was flagged off from Kolkata. Her posters were put up in the city, eclipsing Yuva Morcha chief Anurag Thakur. The photogenic lady has started to elbow her way into executive meetings in some states. Tulsi Virani would have approved.