Amar may get an independent route to RS
Amar Singh’s exile from politics may soon end as Mulayam Singh has agreed to support him as an Independent candidate in the Rajya Sabha, from where he retired in 2013. Singh, who was ousted from the Samajwadi Party on charges of political brokering and alienating the party’s core support base, the Muslims, had found no takers in the last three years even though he knocked every door along with his friend Jaya Prada. He was able to secure a Lok Sabha ticket from Ajit Singh’s RLD in exchange of financing the Jat leader’s election campaign, but lost miserably. Thereafter, Sonia Gandhi denied him entry to Congress whereas the BJP did not accommodate him as it was sceptical of Amar Singh’s “reputation” of creating dissention within the party. But with elections round the corner, Mulayam wants to reach out to the former SP aide, who, he hopes, will fill the party’s coffer. But Akhilesh and Ram Gopal’s reservations compelled the SP chief to support Amar Singh as an Independent rather than take him back in the party. “Isse lathi bhi nahi tootegi, aur bhains bhi mar jayega,” quipped an SP worker about Mulayam’s decision.
Venkaiah daughter made a faux pas
Venkaiah Naidu’s unbounded praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom he called “God’s gift to India”, surprised everybody at the BJP’s National Executive meet. But we now hear, he was only making up for an earlier faux pas. A week ago, when the Urban Development Minister went to invite the PM for a book release, his daughter suggested to the PM that Venkaiah should be considered for a constitutional post in reward for his life-long dedication to the BJP. This surprised the PM. Venkaiah obviously felt the need to make up for his daughter’s slip-back.
Rebel Congress MLAs in a soup
Uttarakhand’s rebel Congress MLAs seem to have shot themselves in the foot. They had defected from the Congress on the behest of Saket Bahuguna, son of former Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, believing he would help them form a new dispensation where each one of them would get a Cabinet berth. Saket was in touch with RSS’ organising secretary in UP, Shiv Prakash. It is being said that Shiv Prakash’s brother even camped in Dehradun for one month, backing new CM aspirant Harak Singh Rawat of the Congress. But the plan ended in smoke as the Speaker decided to disqualify the rebel faction from voting in a no-trust motion. With the Congress government now set to survive, the rebels are cursing their luck and trying to find a way back to their parent party.
Workers raise slogans for Sheila
Congress’ factionalism was on full display at a recent Holi milan organised by the party’s east Delhi district committee. Senior Congress leaders Ajay Maken, A.K. Walia, Arvinder Singh Lovely and Naseeb Singh skipped the function since Sheila Dikshit was the chief guest. To settle scores with Dikshit, these leaders put pressure on party workers not to attend the gathering. But it seems, Dikshit is ahead of her rivals in commanding respect. Not only did Congress workers turn up in droves, they also raised slogans in her favour, such as, “Dilli ka mukhya mantri kaisa ho, Sheila Dikshit jaisa ho”, “Agla mukhya mantri kaun ho, Sheila Dikshit, Sheila Dikshit”. Mateen Choudhury, a Dikshit loyalist, said Dikshit’s detractors hated her because they were shirks and their performance paled in comparison with the former Delhi CM. The leaders who were the beneficiaries of Dikshit’s bounty have forgotten her, Mateen added.