For want of a Voter ID

RLD leader Ajit Singh must be wondering at the irony of it. He had all but sealed a Rajya Sabha nomination for himself from Uttar Pradesh, including managing to secure Mulayam Singh Yadav’s support for the seat. Just when he thought he had the Rajya Sabha in a bag, came a most unexpected hitch. At the time of filing his nomination, he realised that he lacked a voter ID for himself. When the RLD supremo gave up his Tughlaq Road house in Delhi, his vote was deleted from that area. The logical thing would have been for him to register himself as a voter from his next residence or his constituency. But the good Chaudhury failed to do just that. And in order to be a Member of Parliament, you have to be a registered voter yourself. But for one significant oversight, Ajit Singh would have been striding into the Upper House next session. Talk about the proverbial slip between the cup and the upper lip.

The Snub

Gurudas Kamat was recently in the headlines for resigning from the Congress. Sources say that his apparent grouse was inaccessibility to the top leadership and Kamath felt ignored. At a public event in Delhi, a 10 Janpath loyalist A.K. Antony approached Kamat and tried to strike a conversation saying, “I’ve been wanting to talk to you.” An angry Kamat shot back, “Well you left it too late.” What is it about the Congress leadership that it takes a public tantrum to get their notice?

Wrong Approach, Mr Kishor

It is no secret that “master strategist” Prashant Kishor is keen to see Priyanka Vadra take over the Congress party’s Uttar Pradesh campaign and even be its chief ministerial candidate. Finding little response from the Gandhis, sources say that an impatient Kishor decided to push the envelope by leaking his plans to the media. Kishor’s strategy, according to sources, is to track the “positive feedback” from the news and then pressurise the Gandhis by claiming that only Priyanka can create a buzz in the media and motivate the party workers. But Kishor should realise that many have tried this route before and failed. Then again, one should not underestimate the persuasive powers of Kishor.

Alerting the Home Ministry

Home Minister Rajnath Singh is none too pleased, according to sources, about recent rumours claiming that he would be the BJP’s CM face for Uttar Pradesh. He has let it be known that he would consider this a demotion, for he has already been the CM of UP and is not too keen to move back to his home state. So, then where did these rumours come from? Apparently, it was an off-the-record chat in the offices of a BJP general secretary that has been traced as the origin of the rumours. The question now is was this a deliberate plant or was it a message misunderstood by the media.

Summer Vacation?

Is Rahul Gandhi planning to pack his bags for a summer vacation? Sources within the Congress fear as much and so, all plans of a proposed elevation or a reshuffle may be put on hold. The Congress vice president’s birthday is on 19 June and he usually spends this day away from sycophantic Congressmen who gather outside his house with kgs of cakes and threaten to weigh him with ladoos. Well, given this scenario, one can’t really blame him.

Team Sonia vs Team Rahul

The recent rumours of a Rahul elevation “anytime soon” are said to be traced to his loyalists such as Digvijaya Singh who are keen for Rahul Gandhi to take over the party and get his team in place. Currently, the situation is fluid as Congressmen don’t know who is in charge: is it Sonia Gandhi, the Congress president or her son Rahul who is tipped to be the next Congress president? This camp clearly feels that an elevation for Rahul Gandhi would end this ambiguity and also give Rahul the free hand he needs to bring in changes. However, there is the old guard that does not want the elevation anytime soon for the same reasons. These include the famous old guard who are comfortably ensconced in Team Sonia and fear that a change could see their ouster.


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