Keeping tabs on the political grapevine.comment Updated: Jul 28, 2014 22:46 IST
At home, near his friends
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley loves having his friends around. That’s the reason when Jaitley decided to move out of his Kailash Colony house to Lutyens’ Delhi, he tried to make sure his neighbour for years — solicitor general Ranjit Kumar — also moved. Jaitley, who will move into the 6 Krishna Menon Marg bungalow, identified 2, KM Marg for his advocate friend. But while he waited for the S-G to return from his holiday in London, the bungalow was allotted to steel minister Narendra Singh Tomar. Jaitley is now hunting for another bungalow for his friend. Proximity makes the heart grow fonder.
Politically wise use of their time
At a recent meeting with party leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed his displeasure at too many leaders lobbying to be the chief ministerial candidate in Haryana. He then advised other leaders to spend more time with party workers rather than journalists. “Isn’t that right?” he said, turning to urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu. The minister quickly limited his interactions with journalists.
Not a mean seat feat
An influential section in the Congress is of the view that NCP chief Sharad Pawar is talking tough this time on seat-sharing as he is very much inclined towards the BJP. According to a senior Congress functionary, Pawar has sensed trouble in ties between the BJP and the Shiv Sena. In such a scenario, he wants to partner the BJP in Maharashtra. Keeping many seats warm.
A dressing down on dressing
A Cabinet minister on his way to catch a flight to Europe for a global conference was stumped when he received a call at the airport. The caller, apparently from the PMO, enquired if he was dressed in casuals. The minister was wearing a T-shirt and a pair of trousers. When he confirmed the information, he was advised to change into formals. His formals being all packed, the minister promptly asked for a spare set to be quickly sent across from home and made sure that he changed at the airport before boarding the flight. Clothes maketh the man.
From centrestage to the margins
Congress circles are abuzz with the changing fortunes of the party’s two stars. Despite losing his Lok Sabha seat, former Union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has been named the party’s leader in the Rajya Sabha and has also emerged as the party’s pointsperson to handle dissidents in the states and appears to have worked his way into Rahul Gandhi’s inner circle. Whereas Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh’s stars appear to have dimmed. Singh was seen sitting all alone for most of the Iftar do hosted by party president Sonia Gandhi. Taking stock of their stock.