Keeping tabs on the political grapevine.india Updated: Aug 01, 2011 21:28 IST
Not knowing their A, B, C or D
CPI secretary D Raja is finding it hard to deal with people who can't tell him from A Raja, former telecom minister, currently jailed on corruption char-ges. Anna Hazare had once called for the death sentence for "people such as D Raja who are looting the country". Last week at a function where D Raja was to speak, the announcer introduced him as A Raja. This time the poor comrade didn't let it pass. He gave a public tongue-lashing to the announcer and explained in some detail that he was not the former telecom minister. The announcer was clearly in an alphabet soup.
They'll talk the talk
Hectic lobbying is on in the Congress for the posts of spokespersons. There are currently three vacancies. While Shakeel Ahmed and Mohan Prakash have been promoted and are now handling some important states for the party, the only woman spokesperson, Jayanthi Natarajan was inducted into the Union council of ministers recently. The entire burden has fallen on the shoulders of Abhishek Singhvi and Manish Tewari. To lessen their burden to some extent, Shakeel Ahmed has temporarily been brought back on the panel. The buzz now in Congress circles is that Sanjay Nirupam and Renuka Chaudhary will be the new media faces of the party. The new spokes in the wheel.
He's got it all taped up
Ananth Kumar, BJP's general secretary, who adopted a low-profile when the Niira Radia tapes hit the headlines, is back in the limelight thanks to his mentors BJP leader LK Advani and party chief Nitin Gadkari. Scam-hit BS Yeddyurappa prolonged his resignation drama only because these two leaders wanted him to make way for Kumar, who was once asked to leave BSY's house a few months ago when he refused to take part in a campaign against governor HR Bhardwaj. No longer the unwelcome guest.
Of friends and families
Sushma Swaraj can't hide her happiness that her decision to "distance" herself from the mining-scarred Reddy brothers was well-timed. Adding to her glee is the predicament faced by BJP leaders Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley who had to encounter resistance over the party's diktat on getting BS Yeddyurappa to quit as CM over the Santosh Hegde report on illegal mining. The big question, however, is if she will go ahead with her annual Varalakshmi puja, which she does every year, with the families of the Reddy brothers on August 12. Praying together, staying together?
Rooms for their views
Last week, there was an in-house review of Jawaharlal Nehru Bhavan, the new office of the ministry of external affairs. Despite all efforts, the last foreign secretary, Nirupama Rao, couldn't get the building opened in her time. Soon, the MEA will surrender its spaces at Shastri Bhavan and Akbar Bhavan. But who will move out of South Block, which houses the key divisions of the ministry, to the new premises is the question now. The ministry of defence has sought more rooms in South Block. The external affairs minister may have two offices — one in South Block and the other at Jawaharlal Nehru Bhavan, opposite National Museum. Watch these spaces.
Not the retiring sort
New environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan has chosen a former Congress MLA, Dr Gayatri, as her officer on special duty. But this is facing resistance from the department of personnel, which feels that only serving or retired officials and not a politician can be appointed. Alternatively, it's being suggested that she could be brought in as an advisor. After the security clearance, her appointment will have to be cleared by the PM and home minister, who are members of the Cabinet's appointments committee. Special officers for special duties.