OBC Muslim needed in U.P.
The Congress leadership is desperately looking for an OBC Muslim in Uttar Pradesh. UP’s total Muslim population is 18%, out of which the forward class is merely 15%. The rest 85% are OBC Muslims. The Congress has never projected an OBC Muslim for any leadership positions, except for Z.R. Ansari, who was Cabinet minister in Indira Gandhi’s government. This realisation has suddenly dawned upon Rahul Gandhi, for whom winning UP has become a matter of prestige. But the Congress does not have an OBC Muslim of any consequence. There is Shakeel uz-Zaman Ansari, but he is originally from Bihar. After Ansari was removed from the post of secretary AICC, he was made member of the OBC Commission. If Rahul takes over as party president, he will not have any option but to include Ansari in his team. Ansari is also lobbying with Ghulam Nabi Azad hoping that he will be utilised in the UP elections.
Congress may split in Vidarbha
Revolt is brewing against Congress’ central leadership and Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ashok Chavan in the aftermath of the party’s dismal performance in the municipal elections in the Vidarbha region. The Congress lost apparently because the minorities did not vote for it. Ashok Chavan did not give a single ticket to any Muslim candidate despite party observer Kripashankar Singh’s insistence. Both Sonia and Rahul Gandhi were warned about the impending defeat by Naresh Puglia and Vilas Muttemwar. If their demand for Chavan’s removal is not met with, then the Congress will split in Vidarbha.
Richard Verma remembers
Richard Verma, the US ambassador to India connected with his Indian audience which had come to hear him on India-US relations at the ITC Maurya on Tuesday. Verma, whose parents belonged to Jalandhar in Punjab endeared himself to the audience by talking of his Indian roots. He narrated how in 2009 when the then Indian Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh came to Washington, Verma’s father kept telling him that he must mention his Jalandhar roots to the PM. But Verma told him that he would not do so as that was against protocol. But the next day, when Dr Singh saw him, he asked him if he had anything to do with India. When Verma told him about Jalandhar, Dr Singh was extremely excited. He said he too belonged to Jalandar and asked him about his parents. Dr Singh even narrated his family history to Verma.
PIL on demonetisation
According to banking data, Rs 3,9467 lakh crore was deposited in banks between 16 September and 30 September. The corresponding data for this period in the last couple of years shows a deposit of Rs 1,264 lakh crore and Rs 1,282 lakh crore respectively. The government has tried to explain the surge as a result of payments made to Central government employees, because of the Seventh Pay Commission and IDS deposits of unaccounted wealth of nearly Rs 65,250 crore. However, lawyer Vivek Narayan Sharma is trying to prove that some people were aware of the demonetisation move, which explains the surge. He has gone to Supreme Court on this.
Kirti Azad is out
The annual cricket match between parliamentarians and journalists has always been the cynosure of all eyes. This year, if the buzz is to be believed, Kirti Azad, the cricketer turned BJP MP who was among those who started the event, will not participate in the match. Azad has fallen out with his party.
Raj Babbar isolated in U.P.
O. Panneerselvan, the new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu is a puppet of the Central government. Soon after J. Jayalalithaa suffered a cardiac arrest, the Prime Minister deputed Venkaiah Naidu to camp in Chennai and ensure that a pro-Delhi government was formed in Tamil Nadu in case something happened to the Chief Minister. Pro BJP Panneerselvan’s ascendance scuttled Jayalalithaa’s companion Sasikala’s plan to be Amma’s heir.