Much is being made about the Amit Shah vs P. Chidambaram battle that came a full circle after nine long years. However, there is another key battle that played out as a very important sub-text and this is the ongoing feud between Chidambaram and Dr Subramanian Swamy. No one is quite sure as to what triggered this face-off between the two Harvard men, but it was Swamy initiating the probe in the INX case that has resulted in the former Home Minister’s current troubles. In fact, those who are in the know claim that this feud is as deep and as nasty as the one between Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa; or the one between Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati. Clearly, vendetta in politics can be brutal, as both sides know all too well.
Politics of Entitlement
Surely Chidambaram could have done better than hired Kapil Sibal as part of his legal team. Unlike his colleague and legal luminary (also a part of Chidambaram’s legal team) Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who couches his razor sharp arguments with an air of impeccable professional courtesy, Sibal’s style is much more abrasive. When Chidambaram’s legal team tried to get the Supreme Court to hear his plea for anticipatory bail, the presiding judge apparently did not oblige but instead passed the file to the Chief Justice of India. Sibal then tweeted: “All we wanted was a hearing…isn’t a citizen entitled to be heard?” This led to a spate of criticism on Twitter, with some pointing out that all that stands out is the word “entitled”. In fact, later when Sibal and Co went to the CJI’s court hoping for an early hearing, the CJI apparently finished the hearing on the Ram Mandir case and left without acknowledging their presence. Chidambaram’s case was then given a date for two days later, on Friday the 23rd.
Bad time for PCs
It’s a bad time for the PCs in the Congress—both P. Chidambaram and Praveen Chakravarty from Team Rahul. In fact, while Chidambaram still gets some sympathy from his party colleagues, there is a lot of resentment for the other PC, whom Congress leaders feel misled their leader not only about the number of seats the party was expected to get, but more importantly, on the party’s trophy scheme, NYAY. This was conceived mainly by a think-tank led by both the PCs, and could have been a game changer, only it was lost in translation. Apparently, the details of the scheme were held as a closely guarded secret, compounded by the fact that the announcement was made in an off the cuff manner at a public rally by Rahul Gandhi, as a result of which party spokespersons had a tough time communicating it to the media and public at large. Well, talk about self goals.