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Congress loyalist in a soup

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : May 30, 2016, 6:22 am IST
Updated : Nov 29, 2016, 11:27 pm IST

Khadse apparently formed an opinion that the electronic media was biased against him.

RD1.jpg
 RD1.jpg

Loyalty issues in Lucknow

Rita Bahuguna Joshi, former Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president and senior Congress MLA, seems to be caught in a vortex of unfavourable circumstances. Just when there were reports that she could be projected as the brahmin face of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh, or even a chief ministerial candidate, her elder brother Vijay Bahuguna staged a coup of sorts in Uttarakhand. When he failed to topple the Harish Rawat government, he led his flock to join the BJP.

Dr Joshi’s detractors in the Congress are now using the incident to sow seeds of suspicion against her.

To make matters worse, the Samajwadi Party has fielded Mulayam Singh Yadav’s younger daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav from the Lucknow Cantt seat that is presently held by Dr Joshi. There are rumours in the Congress that Dr Joshi is ready to join the SP and leave the field clear for Ms Yadav.

Dr Joshi has been posting on Facebook and issuing statements, professing her loyalty to the Congress and denying reports of joining the SP, but her rivals are in an unrelenting mood. The Uttarakhand heat is obviously adding to the heat in Lucknow this time.

Central govt fails its minister On May 20 when Union power minister Piyush Goyal’s press conference witnessed frequent powercuts, the Central government convened an immediate probe that revealed that the cuts had occurred due to a power failure in the area controlled by the New Delhi Municipal Council. The place where the press conference took place also falls under the NDMC jurisdiction.

Ironically, the NDMC is under the Central government’s control and therefore, the embarrassing situation that had arisen during Mr Goyal’s press conference, raises questions about the preparedness of the concerned department regarding continuous and efficient power supply in the region which it governs and also is a VVIP area.

Sibal and his talents Senior lawyer, Congress leader and former Cabinet minister Kapil Sibal is known for his talents. While his acumen has been acknowledged in the field of law and administration, he has also been dabbling in poetry.

Mr Sibal may have lost the last Lok Sabha polls, but he has kept up with his passions — politics and poetry. The senior Congress leader regularly posts on Twitter about the prevailing political and social scenario in the country.

A study of his timeline would reveal a critical analysis of the Modi government’s two years in office, its policies and political tactics. Mr Sibal, who is also an eminent lawyer, had even found time during his ministerial tenure to author at least two books of poetry. With Mr Sibal likely to secure a berth in the Rajya Sabha soon, his social media followers hope that he continues to entertain them with his posts as well.

Biased reporting Eknath Khadse, the Maharashtra revenue minister, who suddenly finds himself surrounded by multiple controversies, is miffed with the electronic media. First, he was accused of receiving telephone calls from a Pakistani number registered in Dawood Ibrahim wife’s name. Then there were allegations that his son-in-law modified his limousine without the RTO permission, which is illegal.

Later, a Pune-based builder accused him of grabbing the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation’s land. While these controversies were breaking one after another, Mr Khadse apparently formed an opinion that the electronic media was biased against him. So when he called a press conference in Mantralaya to clarify things, he made sure that the electronic media was not allowed.

He even refused to give special interviews when news channels approached him. But this shooting-the-messenger approach does not seem to have paid off, as the channels are regularly “breaking news” on his problems.

Delhi’s success story The recent Class 12 CBSE results came as a morale booster for the AAP government as the government-run schools outperformed private schools in Delhi. Elated by the performance of the government schools, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia in a full-page advertisements issued to many newspapers congratulated school teachers and also warned those who have been habitually callous in their job. Asked about his reaction over the success of the government schools, Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken said in one of the schools in East Delhi, 314 of the 327 students had failed in their Class 11 examination. “Rest I leave it to your interpretation,” he smilingly said. It seems, Mr Sisodia missed to take note of this school. A tedious job Dealing with Italy is proving to be a tedious job for the country’s premier investigating agency, the CBI, insofar as the probe into the multi-crore AgustaWestland helicopter deal is concerned. The agency had sent letters rogatory to Italy seeking information about various aspects of the case, but the reply from Rome has put them on to a job that’s “not quite routine”.

“We have received replies, but don’t know its contents. They are all in Italian,” said an almost exasperated CBI official.

Of course, a translator had to be brought into the picture. Even as the translation is on, the officials would rather keep a careful watch on the proceedings, lest something important gets lost in translation, as they say.

Not the right time for new CM Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has silently got down to routine business, but is yet to start functioning from his designated office in the Secretariat. His first Cabinet meet was held in Brahmaputra Guest House, not his office. Though no official reason has been cited for the new chief minister not visiting the state secretariat, it is said that Mr Sonowal has been advised by his religious guru not to enter the office during the current month of Assamese calendar as it is not considered to be very auspicious.

If insiders are to be believed, a leading exponent of Feng Shui in India has also suggested certain changes in the existing chief minister’s office to get rid of negative energy. Mr Sonowal has also decided not to use the official residence of his predecessor Tarun Gogoi and a Vaastu-complaint house is said to have already been selected in the Old MLA Hostel for the new chief minister.

The fortunate secretary This was the last thing one could expect. After days of preparation to attend the World Health Assembly, Union health minister J.P. Nadda, who was at the helm of affairs this week due to the work that went behind the scenes in bringing in an ordinance to defer NEET, had to cancel his trip to Geneva.

However, a team of officials from the Union health ministry was fortunate enough to get a chance to attend the assembly in Geneva. Some senior officials and Union health minister’s personal secretary left for Geneva even as the minister slogged in Delhi.

Tags: eknath khadse