Yes Chief Minister
Apparently unmindful of the growing revulsion against bureaucratic corruption, Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav let off a senior IAS officer, who demanded a bribe from a person known to the CM. Later, the CM cleared the bribe-giver’s file and got the IAS officer to refund the money. He then transferred the officer. According to an insider, Akhilesh himself revealed this in a closed-door conference with a few IAS officers in Lucknow. People are shocked at the officer’s audacity and even feel that he was let off easily. The whisper in the corridors of power is that the reason for the leniency shown to the bureaucrat was because he was privy to many secrets.
Old Take Guard
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s aim of ushering young blood into the party is not going down well with Congressmen in Karnataka. The old guard is particularly miffed at his decision to give party tickets to Union Ministers Mallikarjun Kharge’s and Veerappa Moily’s sons Priyank and Harsh for the Lok Sabha polls. Sources say, the feeling has been conveyed to Rahul, but he has decided to go ahead with it anyway.
As soon as Finance Minister P Chidambaram announced the one rank-one pension policy in the interim Budget, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who had mooted the idea, wanted to interact with journalists to share his views. However, he could speak with only one news agency reporter as security delayed the rest of the media by an hour outside his residence at 10 Janpath. By the time the others reached, Rahul had already given his sound bite.
If the grapevine is anything to go by, the newly-formed state of Telangana cannot stake a claim on the prized Andhra Bhavan in New Delhi. The Bhavan, whose food Delhi residents swear by — especially the Hyderabadi biryani — will apparently remain with the residual Andhra Pradesh. In Delhi, at least, it seems the Andhra chicken will get to keep its name and not have to cross the road.
Look Ma, No Base
By nominating VM Sudheeran as the party chief in Kerala, Congress president Sonia Gandhi has sparked off a race among new leaders to catch her attention. Sudheeran is not close to any faction in the state, and his elevation to party chief is being seen as a reward for his neutrality. Now every senior Congressman wants to prove that he is detached from narrow factional politics. Remains to be seen if Sonia is buying that line.