Priyanka may be Congress’ face in UP
Priyanka Vadra may be made the chief ministerial face of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh and the decision may be announced at the last minute after the elections are announced and after all options are exhausted. In between the Congress is looking for some other face. Sheila Dikshit’s name was considered for UP but she refused to leave Delhi. She wants to concentrate on getting her son Sandeep Dikshit elected if Delhi witnesses byelections in the near future. The Congress believes that Priyanka alone can carry the party to a victory in UP. If she is made the chief ministerial face, she is likely to contest from Phulpur, the constituency of her great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru. Her office is already functioning from the Nehru family’s Anand Bhawan in Allahabad.
Kishor is worried
Prashant Kishor is a worried man. His initial surveys for election-going Uttar Pradesh and Punjab show the Congress to be doing rather poorly in both states. Kishor managed to cause some buzz in UP Congress initially, but has been unable to control the party’s rival factions ever since. In fact, recent meetings in Kanpur, Agra and Lucknow almost ended in fisticuffs in Kishor’s presence. Efforts to enlist Priyanka Vadra have gone in vain so far. Kishor has confided to a bureaucrat friend that if things do not improve drastically, he may be jobless and unemployable after the upcoming elections.
Jagan will not touch Cong
Jagan Reddy was in Delhi last week after a long time. When word got out that he was meeting leaders of different political parties, two senior Congress leaders who were close to Jagan’s father, called him with the offer to facilitate a lunch meeting with Sonia Gandhi. They were told that it was surprising that they did not bother to contact him when he was in prison for over a year. They were also reminded that he had said that the Congress would have to show some signs of life before he would even consider initiating communication.
Anupriya has nowhere to go
Anupriya Patel, MP from Apna Dal, is in a fix. She was brought on board by the BJP as her party had pockets of influence in Varanasi where Narendra Modi was contesting from. But then her mother expelled her from Apna Dal, which has splintered into several groups. Anupriya was hoping that she would be made a Minister of State at the Centre, but has now been told by the BJP that she would have to join the BJP for that. Anupriya is reluctant, but does not have much option as charting an independent course may spell the end of her career.
Rajan got Saudi offer
Raghuram Rajan got several offers internationally the moment word got out that he might be leaving his current appointment as Reserve Bank of India Governor. The most flattering offer came from Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi prince apparently called him and asked him to direct the diversification of his kingdom’s economy, which is now dependent on oil solely. Other than a generous remuneration he was also given the option to stay anywhere he liked and be in Saudi Arabia for ten days a month to strategise. A call from the Prime Minister, however, telling him how crucial he was to the dispensation, made him stop looking for other avenues.
Arundhati for RBI?
Hectic lobbying is going on to stop giving Raghuram Rajan a second term as Reserve Bank of India Governor. Even large corporate houses are lobbying against Rajan. It seems one large infrastructure major is lobbying for current SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya. Smart choice, since there never was a female RBI Governor.