Kejriwal is dreaming Punjab
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is said to be seeking legal opinion on projecting himself as the Aam Aadmi Party’s chief ministerial candidate in Punjab, without resigning from his Delhi CM’s chair. He has apparently sought the opinion of leading Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising on the matter. His supporters in Punjab say that if he does not project himself as the CM candidate, the AAP will lose the steam it has gathered in the state. But the problem is that Kejriwal belongs to Haryana and is not sure whether the Punjabis will accept him. The two states have been at loggerheads for a long time. That he is not a Sikh is not helping his case. It is for this reason that he had thought of giving Navjot Singh Sidhu a chance, but the former BJP MP was not acceptable to AAP workers. Kejriwal is now grooming Manish Sisodia as his successor in Delhi in case he leaves for Punjab. For this he is taking a break of 15 days for a throat surgery in Bangalore, leaving Sisodia with all the work.
Sheila vanishes from posters
Sheila Dikshit, the former Chief Minister of Delhi, may have been projected as the chief ministerial face of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh, but she is nowhere to be seen in the campaign—neither on the posters, nor in the slogans. She is also not present by Rahul Gandhi’s side when he is going on his khat yatra. Even UP Pradesh Congress Committee chief Raj Babbar and the chairperson of the campaign committee, Sanjay Singh, are missing from the posters. Sonia Gandhi and Ghulam Nabi Azad, the general secretary in charge of UP, are the only two persons whose photographs feature on Rahul’s posters. In fact, most in Congress want Rahul as the CM face for UP. They believe that this alone can revive the Congress in the populous state and in the country. Meanwhile, the organisers of the khat yatra have landed in trouble after the chaos in Deoria, where the attendees ran away with the cots. Congress workers are questioning the wisdom of Rahul Gandhi’s managers, especially Prashant Kishor, whose brainchild this one is.
In memory of Subhra Mukherjee
Last month, a small function was held at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in the memory of Subhra Mukherjee, President Pranab Mukherjee’s late wife, who passed away last year. On the stage was a portrait of the late first lady, while a singer sang Rabindranath Tagore’s songs. President Mukherjee attended the memoriam in a dhoti-kurta, the outfit he preferred to wear at home when his wife was around. He sat through the entire programme and was visibly emotional at the end.
Congress campaign in trouble
Congress’ Uttar Pradesh campaign does not seem to be going smoothly. First Sonia Gandhi fell ill while visiting Varanasi. Then Sheila Dikshit has fallen sick three times in two months, and has had to return to Delhi. And then Rahul Gandhi’s Deoria khat sabha ended in chaos, where the farmers just walked away with the cots.
Unhappy in Bulandshahr
Rahul Gandhi is likely to face the wrath of Congress workers in western UP, particularly in Bulandshahr, over the likely appointment of a tainted person, Mahesh Shastri as the chairman of the campaign committee there. Shastri’s name was suggested by former MP Surendra Goyal, the chairman of the campaign committee of the Meerut mandal, on the recommendation of another tainted person, Shivpal. A complaint has been lodged with Sanjay Singh, the chairman of the UP campaign committee. Singh has put Shastri’s appointment on hold for the time being.
‘We wanted, Geelani didn’t’
Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s snub to CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury and others by refusing to meet them, has gladdened the BJP. While returning to Delhi from the valley, a BJP leader “congratulated” some Opposition leaders for exposing the Hurriyat. “The whole world saw that we came to talk to them. But it was Geelani who refused to enter into a dialogue, ” the BJP leader said.
Amar back as favourite
Amar Singh has once again succeeded in becoming the apple of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s eye. He is believed to have organised top lawyer Ram Jethmalani to argue for Mulayam Singh Yadav in the Mayawati guest house case and organised a battery of lawyers for this. The case has been adjourned and the next hearing will be after a week. Mulayam Singh is so happy with Amar Singh that he has made the latter’s friend Jaya Prada the chairman of the UP film development board and has given her a Cabinet rank.