RAHUL REACHES OUT
It does seem as if the Congress vice president has taken one positive takeaway from the Bihar result. Perhaps heartened by the win, particularly the 27 in the Congress kitty, Rahul Gandhi has begun holding off the record interactions with journalists. And making the politically correct move, he first reached out to the Hindi and regional media last week. Sources say a meeting with the English media is on the cards for next week. Clearly, he has learnt the way that politics without communication is a bit like winking in the dark.
PRE-EMPT THE STORM
Regardless of the bitter political wrangling in the party, the Prime Minister has kept open the olive branch of social niceties — a bit like the old style politics of A.B. Vajpayee. In the recent past he has made a point to attend family weddings of at least three Congress leaders, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Digvijaya Singh and Bhupender Hooda. Now if only some of these back channels can be used to get some legislation passed in Parliament as well. For, from all accounts, the next session of Parliament promises to be a stormy affair.
SHAH LIKELY TO STAY
Much has been speculated as to whether the BJP president Amit Shah would be the fall guy of the BJP defeat in Bihar, for it was he who had spearheaded the entire campaign, masterminding it from his hotel in Patna when he was not out campaigning himself. But even before the BJP Parliamentary Board met, the decision it seemed was taken that Amit Shah would not be sacrificed. And so sources were quick to brief the party line to the media — to sack a president for an electoral defeat would set the wrong and costly precedent. So, Amit Shah is likely to get his term renewed in January, protest from L.K. Advani and Company notwithstanding.
WHO NEXT FOR PRASHANT KISHOR?
Nitish Kumar’s key strategist, Prashant Kishor, is emerging as the most sought after strategist by political leaders. The Congress is keen to deploy him in Assam, while other Chief Ministers have also sought time. And though Kishore met Rahul Gandhi recently, he is said to be not too keen to work for the Congress. According to sources, he feels that it is better to work with a smaller, regional party where there is only one decision maker rather than the Congress, where the top leadership remains inaccessible and every leader thinks he is the next best option. Oh dear!