Mukul Roy’s ‘return’ threatens O’Brien
Saradha scam hit Mukul Roy, whose new party Nationalist Trinamool Congress (NTC) is about to be registered by the Election Commission, has started taking “organisational responsibilities” of the Trinamool Congress, the party from where he was expelled by Mamata Banerjee.
He was a part of the parliamentary delegation comprising Trinamool MPs that met Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptullah on Monday asking her to increase funding for minority institutes in West Bengal. Roy’s “return” to the party fold has created panic among some MPs, especially the party’s Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien. O’Brien has taken over as Mamata Banerjee’s Man Friday in Delhi, a role which Roy used to play earlier. As Roy is also a Rajya Sabha member, O’Brien feeling threatened seems natural.
Jaishankar played a role in n-deal with Japan
It was primarily due to the excellent rapport between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe that the recent summit between the two was such a success. Within the MEA, a big role was played behind the scenes by Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar to ensure that India signed 16 deals with Japan. A coup by the Modi government was to turn around a reluctant Tokyo and get Japan to sign the crucial nuclear deal. Jaishankar is an expert on US as well as East Asian affairs and Japan is his forte. Jaishankar was also India’s longest-serving ambassador to China, with a four-and-a-half-year term. His articulate wife is Japanese, which has made it easier for him to know people in the Japanese administration, including the usually stand-offish Japanese bureaucrats. It was Jaishankar, who was envoy when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met the then Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, whom he openly praised to interlocutors in Japan and China despite the UPA being in office. As the Indian ambassador in US, he is also said to have played a key role in negotiating the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement.
Chavan ‘deal’ makes Maharashtra Congress fume
Resentment is brewing within the Maharashtra unit of the Congress against Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ashok Chavan for “joining hands” with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who belongs to the BJP. It is being said that the BJP got a clear majority in three seats in the municipal council elections in the region because of help from Chavan. The Congress got a clear majority in five. In the election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council, the BJP won the Nagpur seat, as Chavan made the Congress withdraw from the seat. In return, the BJP withdrew its candidate for the Mumbai MLC seat in favour of the Congress, thus “proving” that Chavan and Fadnavis have an “understanding”.
Cong needs new president in Bihar
With the Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ashok Choudhury being made a minister in the Nitish Kumar government, the Congress is looking for a new PCC chief. The thinking in the party is that Bihar is a state where no party can survive unless they have a support base of some or the other caste or community. While Lalu Prasad Yadav has the support of the Yadavs, Nitish is known as a Kurmi leader and the Bhumihars are totally with the BJP.
So the Congress wants either a Muslim or a Brahmin to fill the vacancy created by Ashok Choudhury.
Among the Muslim names under consideration are Shakeel Ahmad, the AICC general secretary in charge of Punjab; Shakeel Uzamn Ansari, an ex-secretary of the AICC, who is a backward Muslim and currently a member in the OBC Commission; and Shakeel Ahmad Khan, who is an MLA from Katwa in Bihar. The first two Shakeels are also being considered for Rajya Sabha seats. The other name under consideration is of Jamaal Ahmad, alias “Bhallu”.
Mamata’s bicycles land in second hand market
The bicycles that West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee recently distributed among students have mostly found their way to the second hand market at discounted rates. The parents of the students who got the bicycles, promptly sold them off. Those in need of bicycles bought them at much reduced rates. It needs to be seen how many votes Mamata’s “bicycle politics” fetches her in next year’s Assembly polls.
Rahul advised against going to jail
Rahul Gandhi was adamant about going to jail in the National Herald case. However, a Congress general secretary told him that this was not the right time for taking such a step. He was told that he was not a “mass leader” like Indira Gandhi. Also, Indira Gandhi did not have charges of corruption against her unlike the erstwhile UPA government which had umpteen number of graft charges against it. Moreover, the Morarji Desai government was harassing Indira Gandhi, and thus when she went to jail, there was a “wave of sympathy” in her favour. This will not be the case with the present Gandhis. Congress leaders are also concerned about an ailing Sonia Gandhi and the nearly-90-year-old Motilal Vora.