Nothing excites more than the speculation of a Cabinet reshuffle, even though there is little chance of one until the Budget session gets over in May. But according to speculation, those tipped for an elevation include Nirmala Sitharaman, who may be shifted to HRD, with Smriti Irani being shifted to the party. Ravi Shankar Prasad may get Commerce and lose Telecom, while some other Bihar leaders may be axed following the party’s poor show in the state polls. But if Irani is shifted for party work, will she be deployed for Uttar Pradesh as the BJP’s CM face?
PLAYING IT RIGHT
A faction of the Congress was initially against Rahul Gandhi’s visit to JNU, pointing out that this was not a Hyderabad like situation, for it had anti national overtones and could boomerang. In fact, sources say that Rahul’s initial choice was Delhi leader Ajay Maken to accompany him, but apparently Maken went missing for three hours and could not be contacted. So Anand Sharma was roped in instead. But post the incident, Team Rahul is said to be satisfied by the response, especially, as one of them pointed out, the PM is yet to react. In fact, Rahul is all set to raise the issue in Parliament and is not tipped to take off for a sabbatical any time soon. All very good news for the Congress, which never knows which Rahul will show up—the resurgent recharged one or the absentee indifferent leader.
During a TV debate, when the Congress spokesperson pointed out that Rahul Gandhi had not gone to JNU to side with any anti-nationals, but had gone to express outrage with the girls who had complained that the police had entered their hostels and were rummaging through their rooms, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra was quick to retort that he didn’t hear anything about women’s empowerment in Rahul’s JNU speech.
KEJRI’S CURIOUS BEHAVIOUR
Why did the Delhi CM not visit JNU, which is technically under his watch? He made the trek to another campus in faraway Hyderabad, but not to JNU. Sources say that there was some pressure from some of his colleagues to visit the campus, but the astute Kejriwal felt this could be a double edged sword, as the case had anti national overtones. So not only has he not gone, but neither has any AAP leader. He has told his cadre that they are free to attack the government on mishandling JNU, but from afar. Not from the campus.