The buzz: Keeping tabs on the political grapevine

The gathering storm
Ambika Soni, Congress general secretary in-charge of J&K, has asked the National Conference government to incorporate the provisions of the 73rd amendment in the J&K Panchayati Raj Act within two months. She has also made it clear that her party’s strategy vis-à-vis the alliance in the future would depend on the outcome of the coordination panel meetings in the next few months. Political circles in J&K have interpreted the statement as the Congress’s preparation to part ways with the party ahead of the coming elections.

All eyes on the BJP’s Bhopal rally
As the BJP prepares for a rally in Bhopal on September 25 — with local leaders claiming they are targeting 7 lakh people — many are discussing what would happen when Narendra Modi, LK Advani, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and others share the dais with Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Given the recent experiences of BJP leaders being hooted down by crowds to hear Modi, many are wondering how other top leaders would cope if things come to that in Bhopal. Here is one rally where internal equations will count as much as the crowd or the message.

It’s not over till it’s over
Less than a month after finding a police officer to lead the CRPF, there is a good chance that the Union home ministry may have to start the search afresh. The UP government has conveyed to the ministry that it wants Dilip Trivedi, who was appointed the CRPF chief last month, back home to head the UP Police. The biggest problem is not getting the Cabinet approval but a nod from the selection committee headed by the home minister. When Trivedi was appointed, the panel’s meeting was convened, and cancelled twice before it could finally meet.

The other Modi
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s younger brother Prahlad Modi, who heads the Fair Price Shop Owners’ and Kerosene License Holders’ Association in Gujarat, is demanding government-employee status for ration shop dealers, clerk-level salary, commissions and reimbursement of expenses borne by them for transporting food grains. Prahlad says  that unless the demands of the dealers are met, corruption in the public distribution system will be difficult to tackle.


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