The Less Things Change
When Rahul Gandhi promised youth leaders in the Congress’ Kerala unit that they would get due representation in the Lok Sabha polls, many were hopeful that they would be given tickets and would have a chance to become MPs. But their bubble has been burst with the names of only senior leaders being floated. While AK Antony will contest from Thiruvananthapuram, veteran Vayalar Ravi will fight from Attingal. VM Sudheeran is set to contest from Thrissur, PC Chacko from Chalakudy, KV Thomas from Ernakulam and KC Venugopal from Kollam. The state leadership is apparently fielding women candidates only in the constituencies where the Congress has no chance.
But No Thanks
Tripura’s royal scion and Congress’ most credible face, Pradyot Manikya Deb Burman, has refused to fight the next Lok Sabha election from one of the state’s two seats. A close aide of Rahul Gandhi, he rejected the offer as he did not want to be the party’s face in defeat. Although his standing is good as his parents had been Congress MPs, a rival faction is only too keen to bring him down, prompting him to turn down the offer.
J&K CM Omar Abdullah refused to attend a Cabinet meeting when deputy CM and Congress leader Tara Chand informed him that the Cabinet Sub-Committee would take more time to submit its recommendations on creating new administrative units in the state. This is reported to have made the cm furious, and leave the venue in a huff. Omar is also reported to have threatened to quit in case the recommendations were delayed further.
Making A Killing
The Muzaffarnagar riots have proved to be a blessing in disguise for Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav in sidelining Azam Khan, the Samajwadi Party’s Muslim mascot. Before the riots, Akhilesh had to rely on the octogenarian health minister Ahmed Hassan to marginalise Khan. Now Akhilesh has elevated three Muslim ministers to Cabinet rank, all Pathans from western Uttar Pradesh, Khan’s stronghold. Khan has already been excluded from the election campaign committee that the CM heads.
The Jury’s out
Rahul Gandhi’s first television interview on a private channel has created quite a flutter in Congress party circles. While a section feels that the party’s media cell chairman Ajay Maken could have advised Rahul better and therefore should be sacked from the post, others feel that Rahul did an excellent job and that Maken should be congratulated. Did anyone talk of half-full-half-empty glasses?