Did Rajan try to block Patel?
Did Raghuram Rajan try to block the elevation of Urjit Patel as RBI Governor? Rajan, apparently, kept on insisting on the indispensability of Urjit Patel as RBI’s Deputy Governor in charge of monetary policy. Rajan felt it would be difficult to find a replacement in that particular post. It seems that the Prime Minister concurred on the indispensability of Patel and appointed him as the Governor. Patel is the first Deputy Governor in independent India to have been made Governor of RBI.
Amar Singh ‘gagged’
Amar Singh is upset with his mentor Mulayam Singh Yadav over the patch up within the Yadav family. His problem is that thanks to the patch up between Akhilesh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav with Mulayam and his brother Shivpal Yadav, the former duo, who are against him, have come to control the Samajwadi Party. So he is no longer treated as a VIP. He may have managed a Rajya Sabha seat from Mulayama Singh Yadav, but Ram Gopal Yadav, who is the SP’s leader in the Upper House, is not allowing him to speak.
Congress finds a Muslim for UP
The Congress has finally realised that just by projecting a Brahmin, Sheila Dikshit, as the chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh is not enough to do well in the Assembly elections there. Even if the state’s 12% Brahmins vote for the Congress en bloc, then too victory will be dream. With UP’s 21% Dalits rallying behind Mayawati and the 54% OBCs divided among SP, BSP and the BJP, the only ones left are the 18% Muslims. But Muslims will vote for a party only if they think that it can defeat the BJP. The Congress has not given a fair representation to Muslims in its UP committees, giving rise to resentment within the community. To try to compensate for this, Ghulam Nabi Azad gave charge of the state organisation to Fazle Masood, this week. Masood will plan the party’s programmes and monitor programme implementation and appointments of state office bearers, a work that should have been done by the Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Raj Babbar in this case. On Friday, Masood was asked to attend a meeting convened by Rahul Gandhi, along with senior leaders Raj Babbar, Sheila Dikshit, Sanjay Singh and Pramod Tiwari.
Western UP, Bundelkhand leaders feel left out
Resentment is high among the Congress workers of Bundelkhand as well as of western UP over the high command’s decision to ignore them and add three Muslim leaders from Lucknow, Sitapur and Kanpur to its pre-election yatras (road-shows). In a bid to woo the Muslim community, the Congress has added three new Muslim faces to the road-shows —that of Fazle Masood, Zafar Ali Naqvi and Abdul Mannan. While Masood belongs to Allahabad and lives in Lucknow, Naqvi is from Sitapur and Mannan is from Kanpur. Except for Imran Masood, who is from Saharanpur in west UP, not a single leader, either Hindu or Muslim has been appointed in any of the party’s state committees from either western UP or Bundelkhand.
Cong tries to woo Brahmins
Congress’ election strategist Prashant Kishor convened a meeting of all the state level Brahmin leaders on 21 August. The meeting decided to hold state level Brahmin conventions at various places. The first convention will be held in Allahabad, the birthplace of Jawaharlal Nehru. Rahul Gandhi is expected to join the convention to claim the legacy of Nehru, who was a Brahmin. Congress leaders have also been asked to host a “Brahmin bhojan”, where only Brahmins will be invited for food. Pramod Tiwari’s daughter Aradhana Mishra has been given charge of organising the convention in Allahabad. This will ensure the sidelining of Rita Bahuguna Joshi, whose father, the late Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna belonged to Allahabad. It is obvious that Congress has become suspicious of Bahuguna Joshi, ever since her brother, Vijay Bahuguna, joined the BJP and rumours started that she was trying to join the Samajwadi Party. The second convention will be held in Mathura.
Complaint against Surendra Goel
A complaint has been lodged with Ghulam Nabi Azad against Congress’ erstwhile Ghaziabad MP, Surendra Goel. Goel, who is the chairman of the campaign committee of Meerut mandal, was supposed to go to all the seven zones in the mandal for campaigning. But all that Goel did was go to Bulandshahr and meet one Shivpal Singh, whose name had cropped up in the controversy surrounding a trust run by Salman Khurshid and his wife. Singh was removed from the post of district president because of this. But neither did Goel visit the district Congress committee office, nor did he meet any party workers or leaders. He just spoke to the current district president over phone from Shivpal Singh’s residence.
Ex-IAS uses Facebook to question CBI
A retired IAS officer, Veena Rao, has countered a CBI charge sheet against her in the Antrix-Devas “scam” in a long Facebook post. She termed the CBl’s move as “shocking” and “ludicrous”. It seems her name cropped up as she was Additional Secretary in the Department of Space when the deal was inked. But the former bureaucrat points out in the post that the Antrix-Devas contract was approved at the Antrix board meeting in December 2004, where she was not present. And this was within two days of her taking charge, which was too short a time for her to have taken a call on it. Rao has even posted her email exchanges with the CBI.