Cabinet reshuffle on the cards?
The buzz is that the Prime Minister may reshuffle his Cabinet before the winter session of Parliament. Sources say that he is not happy with the feedback given on the workings of some of his ministers, in particular one senior Cabinet Minister. But the key question is will he effect the changes now or wait and see which way the cards fall in Maharashtra—in case he needs to rethink his one-minister-per-ally policy to accommodate the increasingly demanding Shiv Sena, which is on a rebound since the Maharashtra polls despite the fact that its tally has slipped since the last state polls? But such is the game of politics that it’s not the hand you are dealt with but the cards in your opponents’ hands too that decide the winning move.
There was some speculation in view of the coming Assembly polls that the Congress might tie up with the Aam Admi Party to take on the BJP. Certainly with the appointment of the pro-tie-up Subash Chopra as its PCC chief the Congress did send the right signals. But it seems as if AAP is not keen to tie its fortunes to the Congress for it clearly feels that the latter will drag it down. The AAP national spokesperson Raghav Chadha confirmed as much to NewsX when he categorically stated that his party would go it alone. Clearly, as Sharad Pawar has shown in Maharashtra, the regional parties feel they have a better chance of taking on the BJP than going under the banner of the Congress. Even in Jharkhand young Hemant Soren seems on a stronger wicket to oppose the BJP than the leaderless Congress, though party in charge R.P.N. Singh has been missing from the capital’s circuit, camping in the state hoping to work a miracle.
Elections for Congress president?
When Sonia Gandhi took office recently it was given that she would be the “interim president” and would be holding the seat warm until the party holds its elections. They were supposed to be held sometime by the end of the year once the Maharashtra and Haryana polls were over. Of course since everyone knows how the elections are held within the party, it was also understood that Sonia was merely keeping the seat warm for Rahul Gandhi. But with a resurgent old guard thanks to Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s showing in Haryana and given the fact that not only did Rahul Gandhi fail to enthuse but he also was seen as a stumbling block in Hooda’s elevation, it seems as if the time is not quite right to bring back Rahul. Particularly when the Delhi polls loom large and the Congress is rudderless, its best bet being an alliance with the AAP (which Kejriwal has rejected). So expect status quo under Sonia Gandhi to continue for a while.