Now that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has returned from the United States, the corridors of power are rife with rumours of a possible reshuffle. The buzz is that Sushma Swaraj may get Human Resources Development, while the present HRD Minister, Smriti Irani may be shifted to Information and Broadcasting. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu may get Water Resources and Ganga Cleaning. Nitin Gadkari is set to get Prabhu’s portfolio of Railways, while also retaining his present portfolio of Road Transport. Sushma Swaraj has already indicated that she will have to move out of MEA. Out of all these ministers, the RSS-backed Gadkari is likely to be the biggest gainer.
Pranab consulting experts on Gujarat anti-terror bill
President Pranab Mukherjee is being extra careful on the Gujarat anti-terror bill, which was cleared by the state Assembly, but was sent back twice by the then UPA government. Now that the bill has been cleared by the NDA government, it has been sent to the President for his approval. Mukherjee does not want to be seen as
a rubber stamp President, so he is consulting legal experts and political parties before signing the bill. The question many are asking is whether he will return it or whether he will sign it after consultation. In any case, the final decision rests with Union Cabinet.
Rail mishaps cause worry
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is upset with Suresh Prabhu over the series of rail accidents that have taken place of late. The Prime Minister recently told Prabhu, the Minister for Railways, in clear terms that these accidents should stop.
Chavan feeling rebellious
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ashok Chavan, who is on his way out, is in a rebellious mood. Not only did he refuse to come to Rahul Gandhi’s kisan rally in Delhi, he also did not contribute any money to the rally when asked to do so. In fact, the entire MPCC gave the rally a miss. The only two Maharashtra leaders of significance to attend the rally were former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Congress Legislative Party leader R. Vikhe Patil. That’s because Chavan is trying to become CLP leader and Vikhe Patil is waiting to grab Ashok Chavan’s job.
Mistry is a worried man
Congress’ general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh, Madhusudan Mistry, who has been a blue-eyed boy of Rahul Gandhi for a long time, is worried that he may lose his post. So he is trying to keep Randeep Singh Surjewala and Jyotiraditya Scindia happy in the hope that they will put in a good word for him where it matters. Mistry has adjusted several supporters of Surjewala and Scindia in the 30-member observer committee he has been asked to constitute for the 30 districts of UP. Nearly half of these 30 members are from Haryana, Surjewala’s home state. Even an ailing worker, who has just had a heart operation and has been advised bed rest for two months, is a member. And except for a couple of the rest, all are from Scindia’s home state Madhya Pradesh. The two other posts have gone to Kamal Kant — who has been given a place on the recommendation of Congress secretary in-charge of UP, Naseeb Singh — and to a supporter of Zubair Khan of Rajasthan. Zubair Khan is attached to Mistry.
Dasgupta will head PTI
Swapan Dasgupta, who is close to the Bharatiya Janta Party, is all set to head the country’s biggest news agency, Press Trust of India. He will replace M.K. Razdan, who is close to the Congress. It has been a fascinating tale for both Das Gupta and Razdan.
Dasgupta quit his job to become an adviser for the BJP and is in line for a Rajya Sabha seat. As for Razdan, he was courting the Congress for the last ten years hoping for a Rajya Sabha berth, but the Congress is yet to give a working journalist a Rajya Sabha seat.
It only obliged media barons and baronesses.