Khaas Aadmi Panic
The Aam Aadmi Party’s outreach in the adjacent Lok Sabha constituencies of Rae Bareli and Amethi, represented by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi, respectively, has jolted the Congress from a deep slumber. The high command has now sought details of every party worker across both constituencies. Thousands of the party’s rank and file had long tired of the inaccessibility of the mother-son duo and the dominance of their all-powerful local aide, Kishori Sharma, who they accuse of keeping them from meeting the leaders. But with polls just four months away, local wags say the renewed effort may be too little too late to enthuse the cadres.
J&K separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has set tongues wagging by breaking his years’ old routine of escaping Srinagar’s biting winter by shifting to New Delhi. Last year, however, the Delhi Police had filed a case against him for recommending an alleged let terrorist for a Pakistani visa. A confidante insists Geelani has stayed back this year as his house has been equipped with the necessary heating to fight the chill.
A long winter also seems inevitable for former Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot who lost his party last month’s Assembly polls. His attempts to regain his older job as a Congress general secretary have been cold-shouldered. Worse for him, his bête noire in state politics, former Union minister CP Joshi, is already a party general secretary. Moreover, as a senior office-bearer quipped, the AICC is not a dumping ground for out-of-power netas.
Karnataka’s mining baron Anil Lad, who had to quit his job as information minister after being implicated in a mining scam, appears to be in the running to join cm Siddaramaiah’s Cabinet once again. Insiders say the deck for his return has been cleared following the elevation of Roshan Baig as information minister and DK Shiva Kumar as energy minister. Both have corruption cases against them and have yet forced their way into the Cabinet, giving Lad hope.
Two’s a Crowd
Ever since inducting his arch enemy Ramesh Chennithala as home minister this month, Kerala CM Oommen Chandy has been worrying that the street-smart Chennithala would one day oust him from the chair. Perhaps that’s what caused him to fall sick and be hospitalised just before Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited Kochi this week. It was only when Rahul visited Chandy at the hospital that the CM feel the colour rush back to his cheeks.