Now that the shenanigans involving the Commonwealth Games, Adarsh Housing Society and the telecom ministry have been exposed, the Congress, expectedly, is running for cover. This should have gladdened Nitin Gadkari’s heart, but the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party is busy dousing his own domestic fires. The political situation in Karnataka, where the chief minister, BS Yeddyurappa, is reported to be in trouble over dubious land dealings, is far from satisfactory. Party leaders are said to be looking for a suitable replacement. The BJP president has also been requested by the detractors of Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Raman Singh, Prem Kumar Dhumal and Ramesh Pokhriyal to take a close look at the goings-on in their respective states so that the party can take the high moral ground vis-à-vis the Congress.
Meanwhile, Gadkari’s move to reinstate Uma Bharti has suffered an unexpected jolt, that too from the fiery sadhvi herself. Bharti, miffed over the terms set for her return to the party fold, has decided to treat the issue as a closed chapter for the time being. She has cited her frail health and the need for ‘contemplation and mental peace’ as the official reasons behind her decision not to press her case just yet. With so many glum faces around him, surely poor Gadkari cannot afford to smile at his enemy’s troubles.
Although winter has not yet set in, the Congress has already started indulging in spring cleaning. After A Raja’s ignominious ouster, the Congress decided to examine the conduct of some key ministers in the United Progressive Alliance. The examination revealed some disturbing, but hilarious, facts. A minister who is supposed to deal with the legal fraternity was found busy composing epics. The ‘search’ also revealed that an AICC functionary, ever so conscious about his appearance, keeps a comb in his pocket and uses it to keep his curls in place even in the midst of political crisis. Apparently, some senior leaders are of the opinion that the reason behind the UPA’s boat being rocked so frequently is that men with such strange habits have been given important posts. But then, shouldn’t they thank the beleaguered Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader for helping them discover such startling facts?
The aam aadmi is feeling the pinch of rising prices. But the government, seemingly impervious to the common man’s woes, is feeling the pinch of the absence of skilled managers. Surprisingly, the lacuna in the Congress ranks is also being felt by Opposition members. The other day, while chatting with some journos, a member of parliament from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was heard saying that there was a dearth of good managers in the UPA-II, and this was reflected in the Congress’s inability to maintain good relations with the leftists who are considered to be friends-turned-foes. He also lamented the fact that when Ghulam Nabi Azad was the parliamentary affairs minister, he used to interact regularly with leaders from the Left. But things have changed since then, and the lack of communication has forced the Opposition to take an even more aggressive posture. Arun Jaitley, the leader of the opposition in the Upper House, expressed similar sentiments as well, waxing eloquent on the managerial skills of HR Bharadwaj. The present lot of managers are not considered to be a patch on these experienced leaders. Consequently, the Congress is desperately hunting for dexterous managers, knowing fully well that in India’s choppy political waters, there can never be a shortage of crisis.
Now for some news from down South. BS Yeddyurappa has been searching for a shelter ever since the storm broke in Karnataka over the CM’s alleged disbursal of land to members of his family. Now, it seems that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has entered the fray to save the day for Yeddyurappa. According to the grapevine, the central BJP leadership has no qualms about dropping Yeddyurappa from his post, but the RSS bosses will have none of it. The reason?
Reportedly, a key pracharak of the outfit who, like Yeddyurappa, belongs to the powerful lingayat caste, is keen to retain the man in trouble in the hot seat. While the news must have reassured Yeddyurappa, it has left some people wondering about the RSS’s righteous claims about it being a cultural, and not a political, organization.
The following joke went around the political circuit when the former CM of Maharashtra, Ashok Chavan, received the US president, Barack Obama in Mumbai — one lame-duck leader had been received by another. After the recent reversals in the midterm elections, Obama, according to his critics, had been reduced to a ‘lame-duck president’. Chavan, who was on his way out at the time because of his involvement in the Adarsh scandal, was also being described by some in similar terms. Messrs Obama and Chavan will probably find nothing funny about this one.