The corridors of power are on the boil over the presidential polls. But Amar Singh refuses to be singed by the flames. At a time when Delhi, Lucknow and Calcutta were agog with Mulayam Singh Yadav’s flip-flop over the United Progressive Alliance’s presidential nominee, Singh, the former general-secretary of the Samajwadi Party, was cooling his heels in Venice. But the pleasures of Venice did not prevent him from declaring that his sympathies lie with the SP’s Ram Gopal Yadav, who was forced to change his stand as per Netaji’s whims. Singh’s barb shows that despite being in the political wilderness for a while now, he has not lost his skills that had made him famous as a player in the Delhi durbar. Singh even claimed that had he been present in Delhi, Pranab Mukherjee’s candidature would have been a far smoother affair. Unfortunately for Singh, despite his tall claims, there aren’t any signs of his political sanyas ending just yet.
The economy is going through a rough patch. Expectedly, not many people are willing to invest in the share market. Veerappa Moily, the Union minister for corporate affairs, recently hit upon a bright idea to turn the tide. In a letter to the Union human resource development minister, Kapil Sibal, Moily has suggested that there is an urgent need to raise people’s awareness of the stock market. He thus proposed to insert a chapter on the share market in the school syllabus so that students can grasp the good and bad aspects of the wily market. An early start, Moily is convinced, would help future investors understand how not to lose their money. Early birds, Moily is eager to preach, catch the biggest worms.
Anurag Thakur, the son of the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, Prem Kumar Dhumal, is keen to project himself as a youth icon to the people. As a part of this plan, he recently hopped on to a state tourism bus and undertook a journey from Simla to Delhi. Thakur had hoped to gauge the popular mood of the people in this poll-bound state. But to his horror, his co-passengers turned out to be a bunch of chattering Bengalis. Undaunted, Thakur utilized the opportunity to gain feedback about Mamata Banerjee and Pranab Mukherjee. This young man appears to be quite an old hand when it comes to the art of politics.
The Bharatiya Janata Party seems to be in no hurry to fill the post of the deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha. A whole session in Parliament has gone by and despite the jockeying for the coveted position, Arun Jaitley, the the leader of the Opposition in the Upper House, chose not to fill the vacancy. The reason? A senior leader quipped that the party’s performance graph has risen ever since the post became vacant. For the backbenchers desperate to bag the seat, the wait gets longer.
If you thought that only Mamata Banerjee is unpredictable in her political dealings, think again. The chief minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, is as capricious: this is evident from the following incident. Patnaik reportedly met some of his party MPs at his Bhubaneswar residence recently. He started the conversation by reminding the gathering that his grandmother was Bengali and that Biju Patnaik was in essence a Congressman. The MPs, desperately searching for a clue as to which way Patnaik would turn in the presidential polls, thought that the CM was hinting at the fact that he was not averse to supporting Pranab Mukherjee, who was also a cherished friend of his father. When one of the MPs asked what would be happening tomorrow on the Prez Poll front, Patnaik chose to remain elusive. “Tomorrow is another day”, he is said to have retorted.
Soon, the Biju Janata Dal made its support for PA Sangma public, even as the MPs were left scratching their heads.
Sharad Pawar is apparently keeping a close watch on PA Sangma’s daughter, Agatha. Pawar is keen that the young minister of state continues in the cabinet as long as she desists from campaigning for her father, who quit the Nationalist Congress Party recently. Meanwhile, at the Aurangzeb Road residence of the Sangmas, a debate rages over the available options. Watch this space to know how this thriller unfolds.
Even though his daughter’s political future is being debated hotly, PA Sangma continues to flash his beaming smile. This isn’t only because the BJP announced that it would support him in the race against Pranab Mukherjee. Sangma’s family members, the grapevine has it, is busy organizing ‘logistical support’ for him. His sons were recently spotted buying slippers for their father in a shopping mall in Saket. A wise choice, don’t you think, given the miles Sangma would have to walk seeking support for his bid?