Ghulam Nabi Azad is tipped to get the charge of three crucial states — Maharashtra, UP, and Assam, replacing the three general secretaries in charge of these states, Mohan Prakash, Madhusudan Mistry, and C.P. Joshi, respectively. Sonia Gandhi consulted Azad beforehand when former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and present state PCC chief Ashok Chavan came to meet her, triggering speculation about a change of leadership in Maharashtra. The two Chavans, arch enemies otherwise, are said to have lobbied with the party president on behalf of Mohan Prakash.
Congress hopes to woo back youth from AAP
The Congress is hopeful of winning back the youth vote it lost to the Aam Aadmi Party, post coming second in the Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU) elections in three of the four seats. While the ABVP won all four, the AAP came third in three seats and second in one. The Congress students' wing's performance is being seen as an endorsement for Ajay Maken, who is said to have won back the support base. Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit, known to be Maken's bête noire, is supposed to have extended her help to him. "Tum to mere bete jaise ho," she told Maken. The Congress is now expecting to do well in the municipal corporation byelections.
Selection rules irk public sector bank officers
The Hay Group, a global management consultancy firm is head-hunting for the posts of public sector bank (PSB) chiefs. Appointed by a selection panel comprising the RBI Governor and Deputy Governor among others, the move has not gone down well with potential candidates from PSBs. Some have alleged that they were called for an interview but were later told that it was an error. Others are alleging that the grading criterion being used is not consistent with the ones used by PSBs, with the preference being given to recruiting applicants from the private sector. The cut-off age of 55 years and three-years of board-level experience make almost all prospective candidates from PSBs ineligible as it is not before 54 years that PSB officers can become board members. Upset officers have petitioned the Prime Minister on the matter and have approached the high court. A hearing is due in three weeks.
Who forgot to import onions?
It is being alleged that Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman "forgot" to order the import of onions from onion producing countries like Pakistan, Iran, China and Sri Lanka in a dry July, as is the common practice. It was only after a worried NAFED made the ministry wake up to the crisis and the matter reached the Prime Minister's Office that the ministry placed an online tender to which the countries did not respond. This compounded the present onion crisis.
BJP leaders not keen on ban
Senior BJP leaders are upset over the recent spate of meat bans which began in Mumbai and now have spread to several other states. They express their opinions in private conversations, but are scared to endorse the same in the public because that might upset the RSS.
Najma still angry with Sonia
Union Minister of Minority Affairs, Najma Heptulla has lost her stature ever since she switched sides from the Congress to the BJP, but not her unhappiness with Sonia Gandhi. She was the Congress party's nominee for the Rajya Sabha for four consecutive terms and was deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha for nearly a decade or more.
Now in the Bharatiya Janata Party, she may be a Union minister but her junior Muktar Abbas Naqvi commands more power than her and she is about to lose her ministry as she has reached the 75-year cut-off mark for ministers.
When she was told recently that she would have been made President if she had stayed with the Congress, she sharply retorted, "Nahi banati, kabhi nahin banati Sonia mujhe (Sonia would have never made me President)."
She now hopes that she will be made Governor after she "retires".
Mehr Tarar writes a book
Mehr Tarar, the Pakistani journalist who was embroiled in a controversy surrounding the death of former Union minister Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar, has written a book titled Leaves from Lahore. It is a compilation of articles on personal, social and political subjects. She writes on women's rights and the plight of non-Muslims in Pakistan. She is critical of terrorism in her country, but fails to give any political insight. She comes across as highly enamoured of Indian films, with Amitabh Bachchan being her favourite hero. In the introduction of her book, Tarar writes about her turbulent childhood as her parents were separated. She devotes a full chapter to her son, but does not take the names of her estranged husband and father in the book. As expected, there is no mention of the Tharoors as well.