The Jaitley Gen Next

Is Arun Jaitley’s daughter planning a political debut? One look at Sonali Jaitley Bakshi’s Twitter timeline would certainly indicate so, because despite being a lawyer by profession, her tweets are largely political. From the International Yoga Day to the Prime Minister’s trip to Leh, from the PM’s Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan to the Home Minister’s visit to the LNJP hospital. Given that, like her dad, she is a lawyer by profession, her instincts seem to veer towards the political. Having said that, don’t forget that Arjun Jaitley wore many hats, politics and law being just two of them. As for this third passion, his son Rohan is said to be keen to contest the DDCA (Delhi cricket board) election for the post of president.

Politics of Hierarchy

The Sachin Pilot vs Ashok Gehlot face-off continues unabated. We saw some of it during the Rajya Sabha elections where the MLAs were divided into two camps, thought they all ended up voting on the same page. But recently Sachin, who still continues as the state PCC chief, apart from being the Deputy Chief Minister, announced that whether he continued in the former post or not, depended solely on the discretion of the Congress president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi. What was implied was that the CM didn’t get to have a say in his continuance.

Of Tigers and Political Shoots

On the other side of the political divide, Sachin Pilot’s former colleague, who switched camps, Jyotiraditya Scindia seems to be doing well. Freshly recovered from Covid, Scindia was first seen in the headlines handing over a cheque for Rs 30 lakh for the Madya Pradesh CM’s relief fund. Two days later, again Scindia was back in the news as a large chunk of his camp followers became ministers in the state government. He got as many as 14 of his camp followers in, versus Shivraj Chouhan’s 12 in the Cabinet expansion. He was so chuffed that he sent a message to his two detractors in the Congress camp—Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh that “Tiger Abhi Zinda Hain”. To which Digvijaya SIngh retorted that when hunting was permissible he had hunted tigers with Scindia’s dad, the late Madhavrao, but now he preferred to shoot them with his camera. But clearly in an attempt to create some mischief, Singh also pointed out that it was the nature of the tiger that only one got to rule over the forest. Hence hinting that Scindia was sending a message not just to his former colleagues but also to the BJP state CM. Well, the mischief maker has stirred the pot. Over to the BJP now. For it must be noted that with as many as 33 ministers the Shivraj Singh Cabinet is nearing its optimum size of 34. One way out, say Congressmen, could be to ensure that some of Scindia’s 14 don’t make it back in the coming byelections!

Where is Sanjay Jha headed?

Sanjay Jha, the erstwhile Congress spokesperson, may have handed his resignation to express his displeasure with the workings of the Congress; but his sentiments firmly remain anti BJP. He was back again on a news channel recently, identified as a Congress leader, taking on the Narendra Modi government for lapses on the LAC. Which makes one wonder what his next move will be, for judging by his comments, he is not heading the BJP way, as was earlier speculated. Could he then opt for the middle ground and join the JD(U), for he is from Bihar and elections are due there soon? Plus there is a vacuum for an articulate voice to be fielded in the TV studios—a space vacated by Pawan Varma that Jha could fill. After all, Priyanka Chaturvedi has shown the way that joining smaller regional outfits is more rewarding than being lost in a larger outfit like the BJP.