POLITICS OF IFTAR
Rahul Gandhi may have sent an olive branch to former President Pranab Mukherjee by inviting him to the Congress iftar, but he clearly did so against the wishes of many of his colleagues. At the iftar itself, although many senior Congress leaders were present such as Anand Sharma, P. Chidambaram and Jairam Ramesh, none of them went up to meet the former President, clearly making their displeasure known.
THE HIGH TABLES
It was interesting to see the various seating arrangements at the Congress iftar: Table No 1 was of course reserved for Rahul Gandhi and seated next to him was of course the guest of honour, Pranab Mukherjee along with Dinesh Trivedi, Satish Mishra, Kanimozhi and Rahul’s all time favourite, Sitaram Yechury. While Manmohan Singh hosted another table with the rest of the allies and Anand Sharma hosted a third for the diplomats and heads of missions invited to the event, other senior leaders such as Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ashok Gehlot, A.K. Antony, Janardan Dwivedi and Motilal Vohra gathered over two other tables. Shashi Tharoor was seen table hopping—mostly around Rahul Gandhi’s table.
Is Congress planning a rotational model of chief ministership if it manages to wrest Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh from the BJP? There is one view that it could go with the older guard for the first three years (i.e., Kamal Nath in MP and Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan), followed by the younger lot for the next two years, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sachin Pilot. Well, it’s a thought, but wonder what Nath and Gehlot have to say about this.