Congress has no use for Sheila

Sheila Dikhsit, the Congress’ face for the chief ministership of Uttar Pradesh, is likely to be sacrificed by the party as it gets ready to launch an all-out attack on the Prime Minister. The so-called Sahara documents, which features Narendra Modi’s name and which have been described as fake by the Supreme Court, also contains Sheila Dikshit’s name. The thinking in the party is that as long as Dikshit continues as the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi’s charge against the Prime Minister will be blunted. Dikshit, anyway, is unhappy with the Congress leadership, particularly with Rahul Gandhi, whom she has described as “inexperienced”. Rahul Gandhi too has sidelined Dikshit throughout, with most of the work in UP being handled by either Ghulam Nabi Azad or Raj Babbar. Dikshit has been missing from almost all the events organised in UP. 

Patel is back

Ahmad Patel, once known as the number two in the Congress after Sonia Gandhi, and who has been lying low after Rahul Gandhi took charge of the party, has bounced back. Patel, who was not being seen at important meetings or events, is now visible with Rahul. The buzz in the Congress is that he is unofficially looking after UP and trying to clear up the mess created there by Prashant Kishor. 

Lobbying going on for Bihar PCC chief’s post

Hectic lobbying is going on for the post of Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee chief. The Congress general secretary in charge of Bihar, C.P. Joshi wants to make a new entrant from the RJD, Akhilesh Singh the PCC chief. But he is facing opposition from the Congress workers. Among the aspirants from the rank and file of the party are Anil Sharma, an ex PCC chief, and Shakeel Ahmad an ex PCC chief and ex Congress general secretary and UPA minister. Shakeeluzaman Ansari, an OBC Muslim is also in the race, as well as ex Youth Congress president Shyam Sunder Singh Dhiraj. Meanwhhile, C.P. Joshi who is also in charge of West Bengal, has appointed Akhilesh Singh as the party observer in the state during the visit of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Mamata needs new MPs for Rajya Sabha

In the wake of Trinamool Congress MP Mithun Chakraborty’s resignation from the Rajya Sabha, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is in a dilemma over who his successor should be, a politician or someone non-political. She is said to be in a quandary as more than half a dozen of her MPs in the Rajya Sabha are from fields outside politics. One of them, Srinjoy Ghosh had to resign after being accused in the Sarada scam. Another one, Kunal Ghosh is also an accused in the Sarada scam. Debabrata Bandopadhyay, Jogen Choudhury, Nadidul Haq Imran, Vivek Gupta, Derek O’Brien and Dola Sen are all from outside politics. The performance of most of these MPs has been dismal. While Mithun skipped all three sessions of Parliament, Dola Sen and Kunal Ghosh have never asked any questions in the House. Apart from this, MPs such as Derek O’Brien, Sukhendu Shekhar Roy, Dola Sen and Debabrata Bandopadhyay are all set to retire from the Rajya Sabha. Except for O’Brien no one is sure of getting another term. Among the political names making the rounds are that of Manas Bhunia and former TMC minister Chandrima Bhattacharya. Among the non political names, the foremost is that of cricketer Sourav Ganguly. The Trinamool has been trying to woo him for the last several years, but he has resisted all overtures.

Celebrate at home

This year the ministers in the Narendra Modi Cabinet will bring in 2017 in the country, apparently because the Prime Minister is against their flying off abroad for the New Year. As a result, all the ministers who had booked their tickets in advance have cancelled them. Nitin Gadkari is celebrating his New Year at his hometown Nagpur. 

Man electrocuted by ATM 

The Central Bank ATM in front of the Press Club  in New Delhi nearly took the life of Noor Alam, an employee in the club’s kitchen. He opened the ATM door only to get a major electric shock. He was rushed to the hospital. His right hand was brutally fractured and he had to be operated on the next day. Doctors have advised him not to come to work for six months. He has already spent more than Rs 20,000 for his treatment. The club’s members and the staff have stopped going to the ATM. They expect the club management to take action against the agency which looks after the ATM and ensure that the bank pays a handsome compensation to Noor.