Opposition parties constantly attack the opacity of the PM-Cares fund but the resolution after a mega joint Opposition meeting didn’t have any reference to it. Now tongues have started wagging with a couple of parties pointing fingers at NCP patriarch Sharad Pawar for this particular omission. They have gone one-step ahead to say that Pawar delayed the meeting of Opposition parties by a month and wanted to go slow on his attack on the government for some worldly consideration. What was it and did it materialise? There is no answer.
Anand Sharma’s dream
The Karnataka Rajya Sabha polls are being closely watched by the likes of Anand Sharma, Ghulam Nabi Azad and other Congress stalwarts. Apparently, the outcome of Karnataka’s Upper House polls will have a bearing on the internal power equations of the grand old party. One Congress winning nominee from Karnataka is likely to be Mallikarjun Kharge, who was the leader of the party in the Lok Sabha during 2014-2019. If Kharge becomes a Rajya Sabha member, Sonia Gandhi may give the Leader of Opposition post to Kharge who is a prominent dalit face. In such a scenario, Azad, currently the Leader of Opposition (with perks of a cabinet rank minister), will lose out. Anand Sharma is currently the deputy leader of the Congress and has been pleading with Rahul Gandhi to promote him in place of Azad. Kharge’s entry will also shatter Sharma’s dream.
The news of the defence secretary testing Covid-19 positive stunned many in Lutyens’ Delhi power circles. However, those occupying higher offices were more concerned about the possible source of the “leak” to the media. A defence ministry WhatsApp group is being blamed where some babus are said to have shared information. A probe is on to identify the culprit and trace the media trail.
The Setu defaulter
Uttarakhand minister and spiritual guru Satpal Maharaj has acutely embarrassed the BJP regime in the hill state. Maharaj and his wife have tested positive for the coronavirus but the minister still chose to attend a cabinet meet. In Dehradun, questions are being asked as to whether Maharaj had activated the Aarogya Setu app, mandatory for all Covid cases. Was the much-touted Aarogya Setu app not functioning or was it not operationalised, some BJP insiders wish to know. There are stringent penal provisions for disregarding the Aarogya Setu app. Would Trivendra Singh Rawat act against his tourism minister?
Squabble over protocol
To say all is not well in the Congress would be an understatement. The party is at war from within. Take for instance a rather innocuous matter of Rahul Gandhi posting his interview with industrialist Rajiv Bajaj. This part of the information was released by a woman journalist considered close to Rahul Gandhi, while Congress IT cell chief Rohan Gupta and his team were unaware of it. On battleground Twitter, a clash was visible. A TV channel reporter known to thick with Gupta tweeted how Team RG didn’t keep the party’s social media unit in the loop. The son of a former Congress leader and a member of Rahul Gandhi’s social media team retaliated. Behind the scenes, angry words were exchanged and threats were made till someone powerful intervened.
Respect, lost and found
In BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, a ‘reverse migration’ is taking place. A few Congress leaders who had left on the eve of the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls are returning, saying that ‘outsiders’ are not respected in the BJP. The case of Prem Chand Guddu and Choudhury Rakesh Singh coming back to the Congress has got a section of the BJP worried. They fear that if this line of thinking gains currency, there will be a problem in retaining all those who had recently defected under Jyotiraditya Scindia’s leadership.