Angry Rahul (Pic Rahul Gandhi)
It came as a bolt from the blue. The instigation was the reports appearing in the media about newly installed Congress vice-president Mr Rahul Gandhi’s closed-door meeting with the AICC functionaries and other state leaders.
Who leaked the information of the in-camera proceedings? This question has been raised by none else but Mr Gandhi himself. Usually given to sharing information with the journalists, the leaders were in for a shock and were reportedly running for a cover to hide their faces.
Then came the shocker in the form of stern warning from Mr Gandhi. Although he made it clear that he was not averse to his party colleagues sharing information with the media. But then it will be difficult for him (Mr Gandhi) to speak out his mind or openly interact with his party colleagues. You decided which way to go, was said to be his clear message to the party men.
Understandably, the Nehru-Gandhi scion, a stickler for transparency, was ill at ease with deliberations of such secret meetings going public. Is gagging the voices or fixing some kind of a filter answer to the problem?
His own party men are debating this question in whispers. But none has guts to air his views on this gag order openly for fear of losing his jobs.
Mr Gandhi’s diktat runs quite contrary to the spirit of transparency and democracy which he intends introducing in the century old party. How come you preach what you do not follow, asked a senior Congress leader preferring to remain anonymous.
There is no denying the fact that certain issues related to the organisational matters have to be kept away from the public domain to ensure free and fair debate within the party set up. But is a gag order answer to the problem? Many in Delhi’s political corridors are asking this question.
Political Pawar (Pic sharad Pawar)
The Nationalist Congress Party supremo Mr Sharad Pawar, the wily fox of Indian politics, has the habit of sizing up the public mind by tossing up ideas relating to his future in politics. Gauge the public mood and forget about the issue has been his motto in the past.
No one was surprised when Mr Pawar recently said that he will not contest next Lok Sabha elections. There was nothing new to it as he has in the recent past hinted at staying away from electoral politics. Even his party colleagues were not surprised. But it assumes significance as it has come when the electoral season has already set in.
Will he or won’t he? This is a million dollar question which has no clear cut answer.
Mr Pawar’s colleagues were heard remarking that it is indicative of the fact that the Maratha strongman was not willing to work under Mr Rahul Gandhi in case a Congress-led UPA Government, of which NCP is a part, comes back to power in 2014 Lok Sabha elections for a third time.
Mr Pawar’s latest salvo was meant to convey this message to the Congress quarters. Ironically, his statement came immediately after Mr Gandhi was elevated to the number two slot in the party. Was it a coincidence or Mr Pawar had deliberately timed it to send across a message?
If Mr Pawar’s supporters are to be believed, his views will not at all impact the Congress-NCP relations either at the Centre or in Maharashtra where the two parties are in ruling coalition.
Commerce and Industry Minister Mr Anand Sharma perceives himself to be an expert on foreign affairs. Whenever there is a talk of cabinet reshuffle, his name props up for the coveted slot of Minister for External Affairs. Despite media focus on his candidature for this slot, he has missed the bus till now.
The moment when Mr Sharma is asked to speak on the issues related to foreign policy, he laps up the opportunity and gets into delivering longish speeches apparently pressing his claim to head the Ministry of External Affairs.
It happened recently when he was chairing a session ‘India and the World’ at the Jaipur conclave of the Congress. His opening remarks lasted for over one hour leading to all the participants getting exhausted, some even were found dozing.
“Mr Sharma has spoken extensively about India and Africa (Sharma’s wife hails from South Africa). Now let us hear about the other continents, a senior leader was heard remarking sarcastically.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 8 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 8 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 9 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST
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