A shadow has been cast over UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav ever since he had to concede the right of final address to Azam Khan, the Muslim mascot of the Samajwadi Party, at three recent rallies. Tongues have been wagging that Akhilesh’s stars are on the wane. But insiders say the CM prefers the perception that he has been downgraded by his father, Mulayam. That’s because Akhilesh is convinced the SP will face a rout in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, and he would rather that daddy lead the party to a near-certain disastrous poll campaign. Post 2014, Akhilesh reckons he would be in a far more commanding position.
Star unto Dust
Patna BJP MP and film star Shatrughan Sinha has angered so many by his failure to be available in his constituency that the party is now considering not renominating him for the Lok Sabha election. Ravi Shankar Prasad is now angling to be the BJP nominee. The BJP is also concerned because grapevine has it Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has persuaded a high-profile surgeon to contest for the Patna seat on a JD(U) ticket. Like the film star and Prasad, the doctor is a Kayastha.
His PM’s Voice
V Narayanasami, mos of the Department of Personnel and Training, was charged with the responsibility of piloting the historic Lokpal Bill in Parliament. However, on 17 December, when the Bill had to be taken through the Rajya Sabha, his wife was hospitalised with a stroke. At 10 am, a worried pm phoned Law Minister Kapil Sibal, who then presented the Bill in both Houses. Ironically, Sibal had been the face of the Congress’ opposition to Anna Hazare’s Jan Lokpal agitation in 2011.
Three-time Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has dared Narendra Modi to win his bjp more Lok Sabha seats in the state. Gogoi has promised to step down if the Congress returns with less than seven of the state’s 14 Lok Sabha seats it won in 2009. Insiders say Gogoi’s uncharacteristic bravado follows a directive to be tough from the party’s high command in New Delhi, which is jolted by massive losses in three state Assembly elections earlier this month.
While Friday the 13th brought Lalu Yadav release from prison after two-and-a-half months of incarceration, the stroke of ill luck has continued. First, a man was crushed to death under the wheels of one of the cars in his cavalcade returning to Patna. Then, his second daughter’s father-in-law passed away, forcing him to rush out of Patna within hours of reaching there. A grand puja may now be in the offing.