Rajiv Satav’s close aides are thanking the Thackerays for his sudden rise from a lesser-known MLA from central Maharashtra to the national president of the Youth Congress.
What was Satav’s claim to fame? He was one of the first officebearers of Youth Congress to resign from their posts when Rahul Gandhi appealed to all those over the age of 32 to give a chance to younger workers.
According to the Congress insiders, the appointment of a Maharashtrian to the post was prompted partly by the apprehensions that Sena-MNS would project Rahul’s comments on commandoes from north India as anti-Maharashtra because the deaths of police personnel like Ombale, Karkare, Kamte and Salaskar is a sensitive issue in the state.
The Congress-led government was already in the dock over the killing of Karkare and two more officers at the Cama hospital. So when Team Rahul was looking for a suitable candidate, Satav’s goodwill helped him get the post. Many in the Congress feel that Satav has hit the jackpot.
If the gup in the Congress is to be believed, Rahul Gandhi’s impromptu tour from Andheri to Ghatkopar that derailed the Sena was planned ahead and only a few in the Congress and the police were in the know. The route was ‘sanitised’ by security agencies before Gandhi’s tour. Two days before the visit, there was an alert of a possible terror attack that lead to a thorough check at the railway stations. Did that alert have any connection with this tour?
Rane, CM friends again
Narayan Rane has inched closer to Chief Minister Ashok Chavan. The indication came on Thursday when Rane defended Chavan under attack from the NCP ministers over his flip-flop on taxi permit issue. He also threatened the NCP ministers against ‘leaking’ the details of cabinet meetings. (It was in the cabinet meeting last Wednesday that Chavan was grilled by NCP ministers).
So, should we say that a fresh chapter of Chavan-Rane friendship has begun? Well, it could be a bit early as Chavan is still wondering: What is the unpredictable Rane upto now?
BJP, where art thou?
Suddenly, BJP’s media-savvy leaders in Mumbai have gone underground. It was difficult to get them to comment on their ally Shiv Sena’s criticism of the RSS over ‘Mumbai for Maharahstrians’ tirade. While the Sena criticised the RSS, the local BJP leaders chose to ignore the issue — none of them wanted to be in the bad books of the sainiks as the civic elections are due. The BJP needs the Shiv Sena support to win the elections more than ever before thanks to the MNS that eats into the Marathi votes if the Sena candidate is not in the fray.
Would Sena have created a brouhaha over the IPL had one of its leaders invested money in one of the IPL teams? Recently when Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray was asked this he merely turned to Manohar Joshi, known as the most resourceful leader in the Sena, and asked, “Is there any investment in the IPL?” Joshi replied, “Nope.” Uddhav just smiled....