Kalraj, Lalji kept ‘happy’
Kalraj Mishra continues to be Union minister even though he is 75 years old, unlike Najma Heptullah and Anandiben Patel who had to leave ostensibly because they had reached the “age of retirement”. That is because Mishra is a Brahmin from Uttar Pradesh, a state going to the elections, and the BJP cannot afford to alienate the Brahmin community in UP at this juncture. Another BJP veteran, Lalji Tandon, who is unhappy at being sidelined, is likely to be appeased as well. Tandon is one of BJP’s strongest leaders in Lucknow and was close to Atal Behari Vajpayee. If Tandon continues to be in Lucknow at the time of the elections, he is bound to sabotage the BJP’s prospects. So chances are that he will be sent to Madhya Pradesh as Governor. But will Tandon agree to this?
Amar Singh is the cause
The problems in the first family of Uttar Pradesh started with Amar Singh’s re-entry into the Samajwadi Party against the wishes of state Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s cousin, Ram Gopal Yadav. Amar Singh managed an entry because of his closeness to Mulayam’s brother Shivpal and to the SP chief himself. It is being said that Mulayam Singh Yadav removed his son from state president’s post after a two-hour meeting with Amar Singh. This started off the chain of events in which Akhilesh divested his uncle Shivpal of three portfolios and even sacked the UP Chief Secretary, who was supposed to be an Amar Singh man and was close to Shivpal Yadav. Akhilesh is believed to have blamed the problems in the family on Amar Singh.
No one wants to be seen with Sajjan Kumar, an accused in the anti Sikh riots of 1984, ahead of the Punjab elections. At a recent Janmashtami function in Delhi’s Punjabi Bagh, Sajjan Kumar was an invited guest, while Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was the chief guest. Sajjan Kumar was seated on the dais when Kejriwal arrived. But seeing Sajjan Kumar, the Delhi CM turned around and rushed to his car. The organisers pleaded with him but he refused to listen and left the venue.
No one wants to be seen with Sajjan Kumar, an accused in the anti Sikh riots of 1984, ahead of the Punjab elections
Sympathetic to Indira
A new book on Emergency takes a sympathetic view of Indira Gandhi, unlike other books that see her as someone who destroyed democracy. The book says that Gandhi and the Congress believed that democracy was giving way to anarchy because of JP and democracy had to be brought back to track. The book, The Emergency: An Unpopular History by Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr gives views from both sides of the spectrum.
Right vs left in NBT
The Ministry of Human Resource Development’s National Book Trust, which was a bastion of the left “liberals” until recently, is now headed by Baldeo Bhai Sharma. Sharma, who is chairman, is at loggerheads with Dr Rita Chowdhury, who is the director of NBT. Things have come to such a pass that Rita Chowdhury is often seen hobnobbing with left “liberals” who are staunch critics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The problem is that Chowdhury’s husband, Chandra Mohan Patowary is Assam’s Commerce and Industry Minister and is a powerful BJP leader in that state. How will Prakash Javadekar come out of this problem?
No to Dwivedi
Janardan Dwivedi, who is a Brahmin, has been kept out of the Congress’ campaign in Uttar Pradesh even though the party is going all out to woo the community in the state. He was sidelined after he gave certain anti-Rahul Gandhi statements. The thinking in the Congress is that Rahul, whose grandmother was a Brahmin by birth, is the biggest Brahmin in the party.