One thing about Dr Subramanian Swamy—an interview with him is never boring. While speaking to India News, he revealed that he has written to the Prime Minister a letter with proof of as many as eight instances of corruption that a minister is involved in. However, he did not reveal who the said minister was, for he says such information would only benefit the Opposition. But once the interview was telecast, social media was abuzz with speculation about the said minister. Watch this space for more on this story.
RIP, SHEILA DIKSHIT
Sheila Dikshit’s passing away signals the end of an era within the Congress. Interestingly, my last meeting with her was during the recent Lok Sabha polls. This was a time the Congress and the Opposition actually felt they could cobble together a government and there was speculation that someone other than Rahul Gandhi would be propped as the PM face. At the time, Captain Amarinder Singh’s name was doing the rounds. And so after our interview, when Sheilaji offered me a cup of tea and some gupshup (as any reporter will tell you she was a delight to interview because it would invariably end in a delightful off-the-record chat with tea and snacks), I ran by her the idea of Captain Amarinder’s name as the PM candidate. She immediately smiled and said with a twinkle in her eye, “So it would seem that the old guard is not so irrelevant after all.” She certainly had her finger on the pulse of the party, for there has been a tug of war between the old and the young ever since Rahul Gandhi took office as party chief. And how ironic is it that now the Captain is batting for the young, with his statement that the Congress needs a young leader to take charge after Rahul. (Incidentally that comment by the Captain has not gone down well with some of his senior colleagues, claiming that he should first begin by letting Punjab be ruled by a “younger” leader as CM). Oh well!
CONGRESS’ FLOOR PLAN
The Congress may have appointed Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury as its leader in the Lok Sabha, overlooking others such as Manish Tewari and Shashi Tharoor, but it’s this duo that is making the headlines for their parliamentary interventions. Interestingly, both took a different line in response to Trump’s claim that the PM asked him to intervene in Kashmir. While Tharoor put out a measured tweet in favour of the PM, stating, “I honestly don’t think Trump has the slightest idea of what he’s talking about. He has either not been briefed or not understood what Modi was saying or what India’s position is on 3rd-party mediation. That said, MEA should clarify that Delhi has never sought his intercession.” However, Tewari raised the matter in the House, stating that since the allegations were serious in nature, the PM should clarify. That the clarification should come from the PM and not the MEA was clearly the Congress line, for the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi could be seen passing the transcript of Trump’s statement to Tewari as he spoke.