Exit Nadda, enter Baluni?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to opt for a Cabinet reshuffle soon. The BJP is set to have J.P. Nadda as its full-time party chief before the year-end. In the process some leaders from the party are set to join the government while there is a possibility of few leaving the government and opting for party work. Mr Nadda, for instance, is himself a Union minister. Anil Baluni, a young Rajya Sabha member and BJP functionary from Uttarakhand, is likely to join the goverment as he is seen as a challenger to Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.
INC under I-T scanner
The Congress recently survived a major scare. It so happened that income tax department officials reportedly came knocking asking some 24 Akbar Road staffers some searching questions regarding financial transactions. While everyone in the party is tightlipped about it, some see the income tax department investigations as “routine” and a part of the ongoing investigation against the chief accountant of the party.
Buoyed by good performances in Haryana and Maharashtra, the Congress leadership is toying with the idea of holding an All India Congress Committee session in Udaipur in Rajasthan. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has recently constituted a group to sharpen the party’s ideological stance on key socio-economic and political issues. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is part of the panel and reportedly giving out some substantial and practical suggestions. Party insiders say January 2020 may see the Rajasthan unit of the party hosting the jamboree.
Kanda is in luck!
Forty seems to be a lucky number for Gopal Goyal Kanda, a controversial Independent MLA from Haryana, accused of rape leading to the death of an airhostess. In 2009, Mr Kanda had teamed up with the Congress when the Bhupender Singh Hooda-led Congress had hurriedly merged Haryana Janhit Congress to have another term in office. Mr Kanda was made minister till controversy had him arrested and removed from the ministerial chamber.
Interestingly, the Congress tally in 2009 had come down from 67 seats while the INLD had jumped from nine seats to 31 in 2009. The mandate was clearly against the Congress, but they still managed to form government with the support of Independents and the Haryana Janhit Congress.
Would Sharad Pawar contemplate a merger of his Nationalist Congress Party with the Congress Party? Apparently, Rahul Gandhi and Mr Pawar are serious about coming together and Sushil Kumar Shinde is working out the details. But there is a catch. Mr Pawar and the NCP are willing to consider a political reunion but are unwilling to transfer assets such as buildings, properties and so on that are carefully guarded by a variety of trusts. This hiccup is leading to a yawning trust deficit...
The writer is a keen observer of the goings-on in backrooms of power