The spokesperson of a political party cannot afford to get the basic facts wrong. Or so one would have thought till the BJP sent reporters a blog post written by its national spokesperson Tarun Vijay on the anti-India speech of Kashmiri separatist leader SAS Geelani. In the article Mafiosi, their lies and a fake state, Vijay ended up confusing SAS Geelani with Zakir Husain college teacher SAR Geelani, acquitted in the Parliament attack case. Referring to the former Geelani throughout, Vijay wrote, "The professor who should have been sent to the gallows for conspiring against the Indian state is seen leading the attack on the nation's integrity again…" For the record, SAS Geelani has never been a professor, though he was a schoolteacher in the 1950s.
Talking the talk
The 'power struggle' between Narendra Modi and Sushma Swaraj may have generated much heat within the BJP and outside, but channels of communication between the two have been open in recent days. When the BJP posted huge wins in the just-held panchayat polls in Gujarat -seen as a feather in the cap for Modi -Swaraj herself called up Modi to congratulate him for the spectacular performance. This happened just after she went to Gujarat in early October to campaign in the civic polls.
Gracing the occasion
Congress leaders were surprised when their general secretary Rahul Gandhi, hardly seen at wedding functions, turned up at the wedding of MP Parvez Hashmi's daughter. Gandhi's appearance almost led to a stampede and a Union minister was heard saying that Hashmi's — party secretary in-charge of UP — TRP has gone up.
It was a double joy for Assam Congress president Bhubaneswar Kalita when the Congress announced its list of state unit chiefs on his birthday on October 26. Despite many claimants to the post, the Congress leadership reposed faith in Kalita, who will now lead the party in the coming assembly polls in Assam early next year. The announcement came as a huge setback for chief minister Tarun Gogoi's camp that had lobbied hard for state minister Bhumidhar Barman.
No forgive or forget here
The recent 'ink attack' on minister of state for parliamentary affairs V Narayansamy at Raipur in Chhattisgarh is supposed to have been carried out by disgruntled state Congress leaders. Preliminary inquiries revealed that one Pappu Farishta was behind the act. Narayansamy, also Congress general secretary in-charge of Chhattisgarh, had expelled Farishta for anti-party activities a while ago. Farishta had tried to get back at the Union minister in the past as well when he had extensively campaigned against Narayansamy in Puducherry in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
Not on the right track
It boils down to two Trinamool Congress ministers of state: Dinesh Trivedi and Mukul Roy. One of them will replace Mamata Banerjee as the Railways Minister after next year's assembly elections in West Bengal. The rumour in political circles is based on this argument: When Banerjee decides to move to Kolkata's Writers Building, the Congress will find it difficult to disregard her party's claim over the railways ministry. This, however, sounds specious and presumptive.