Minimum sarkari naukri
After the news of the merger between Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV, more bad news is leaking out of the temple of democracy. Employees at Parliament are being asked to opt for the government’s voluntary retirement scheme. The Narendra Modi regime, contemplating a new Parliament house, reportedly wants to prune staff in the new premises. Informed sources said some senior level officials have already been shown the exit while many departmental heads have been asked to identify “deadwood”. Is this the minimum government mantra at play, at last?
Senior Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi is a tad worried these days. Her predicament has little to do with delay and uncertainty over a possible Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance; it is over her own social media accounts. When Priyanka defected from the Congress Party during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the then AICC spokesperson had deftly deleted her anti-Sena-BJP tweets. The Sena was then an ally of the BJP. Now with prospects of the Sena joining hands with the Congress and the Sharad Pawar-led NCP, Priyanka is contemplating deleting her offensive posts against them as well. Her well-wishers wonder if Priyanka will be left with mere "good morning" and politically-correct posts.
Tourism snub for Nath
The political developments in Maharashtra managed to hurt Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath’s pride. It so happened that when the Congress decided to move its MLAs out of Maharashtra to avoid poaching, Bhopal and Jaipur were shortlisted as destinations as both have Congress governments. But Bhopal lost out to Jaipur on the ground of having better resorts, air connectivity and other facilities. It came as a shock to Nath who not only considers himself as a more senior and more astute political player than Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, but also showcases Bhopal as a most tourist- and business-friendly place. It came as an unpleasant surprise to him that his own party thinks otherwise.
Some like Rahul on top
There is utter confusion within the Congress parivar over the choice of a new party president. Initially, Congressmen at various levels of hierarchy were pleased to see the back of Rahul Gandhi. However, the return of Sonia Gandhi included the old guard making a noisy comeback. The clout of Ahmed Patel and others is said to be so strong that even the anti-Rahul group within the Congress now wants the young Gandhi to be back in the saddle. Some confused souls are quietly humming a Ghalib couplet, “Ab toh ghabra ke yeh kehte hai ki mar jayenge... marke bhi chain na paya toh kidhar jayenge...”
The balance of Pawar
What is Sharad Pawar up to with regard to the attempts at ministry formation in Maharashtra? The perception of trust deficit has been an important factor in Pawar’s political journey. When young Pawar became Maharashtra CM for the first time at the age of 38 in 1978, he had treacherously toppled the Congress government led by Vasantdada Patil. Pawar helped Patil survive a vote of confidence in the house and then drove to Raj Bhavan withdrawing support and informing governor Sadiq Ali that he was forming a government in coalition with the Janata Party under the banner of the Progressive Democratic Front. Would Pawar prove his detractors wrong now?
Not so achhe din for Khattar?
Whodunnit? BJP circles are intrigued over Sanjay Joshi’s front row presence at the swearing in of the M.L. Khattar ministry in Haryana. Joshi, once a towering RSS functionary, is considered a persona non grata in the present-day BJP. So who gave him the front row honour? Some insiders think it either signals achche din for Joshi or not-so-achche din for Khattar in the coming days.