‘10 Janpath is jinxed’
Rajiv Gandhi ignored the warnings from many in the Congress that 10 Janpath was “jinxed” and under his wife Sonia’s influence moved in there after displacing K.K. Tewary, who was a minister in the government and known for his diatribe against former President Zail Singh. This has been revealed by Indira Gandhi’s confidant Makhan Lal Fotedar in his political memoirs The Chinar Leaves. The buzz was that no one could survive in the “jinxed” premises beyond 18 months. The Youth Congress folded up from there in 1977. Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri passed away within 18 months of occupying it and the Press Council of India too had to move out of that place. Tewary’s political oblivion coincided with his moving into 10 Janpath. And Rajiv himself was assassinated within 18 months of his setting up abode there.
Cong forgets Shahnawaz Khan
The Congress forgot to remember Shahnawaz Khan on his birthday on 4 November. Khan, who was Hindi film actor Shah Rukh Khan’s grandfather, had served as an officer in Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army during World War II. Later, he was a minister in the Congress government at the Centre. Khan was elected four times to the Lok Sabha from Meerut and remained the head of the Congress Seva Dal until his death. When the present Seva Dal chief was asked about Shahnawaz, he said he did not know who he was.
Rajnath rallies popular
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who addressed over 40 election rallies in Bihar, was the most sought after, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. His rallies were popular and he attracted a lot of attention from his caste brethren, the Rajputs, who have a dominant voice in Bihar.
Sports brand planning IPO?
A reputed sports brand which had applied for its own retail store over 18 months ago was told by Central government bureaucrats that rules needed the brand to cancel its agreement with the franchisee. When the ambiguity was cleared and a fresh application made, the bureaucrats kept asking for one document or the other. Meanwhile, another sports brand got the permission for the same. The buzz now is that the brand, which was denied permission, will issue an IPO. Surely this is interesting information for business insiders to check.
Owaisi entry is bad news for SP
Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen making its maiden entry in Uttar Pradesh following the recent panchayat elections in the state will give the Samajwadi Party sleepless nights. Owaisi has started to make a dent in the SP’s Muslim vote bank, with MIM candidates winning seats in Azamgarh and riot-hit Muzaffarnagar. Muslims have been looking for an alternative to SP. They supported the Bahujan Samaj Party once but returned to the SP and have stayed with the party since 1989. However, since the Congress has not shown any signs of revival in the state, Owaisi’s entry has come as a “breather” to the community. Muslims say that SP has not “bought” them over and as a Muslim religious leader in Lucknow said, “it is not compulsory for us to vote for the SP alone.”
Ministers miss Pranab’s event
President Pranab Mukherjee hosted a cultural programme for the vice chancellors of the universities who were in Delhi to attend a Ministry of Human Resources Development meeting. The President invited Sufi singers to perform at the function. Surprisingly, not a single Central minister turned up for the event, not even HRD Minister Smriti Irani. She was, however, present at the dinner she hosted for the VCs.