SP leaders are amazed at the growing clout of Sonam Kinnar,who claims to be a nominated corporator in Ajmer. After government formation last year,Kinnar arrived in Lucknow and met several ministers,offering them the sacred thread from Ajmer Dargah. She also met the Chief Minister. Now,a year later,Sonam is a regular at the SP office. Party leaders were surprised when she was allotted government accommodation at Park Road Colony. Her work is done on priority. She has even staked claim on the party ticket from Amethi to contest the Lok Sabha poll against Rahul Gandhi.
Former minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyyas visit to the CMs residence last week his first after being sacked from the cabinet set off speculation. Some even talked of his possible reinduction in the ministry,a la Pandit Singh. But Raja Bhaiyya is yet to get a clean chit from the CBI which is probing the triple murders in Kunda. SP sources said the purpose of Raja Bhaiyyas visit was entirely different. Since the partys Lok Sabha candidate from Pratapgarh C N Singh is likely to be changed,Raja Bhaiyyas discussion with the CM was confined to finding a replacement in his home district.
The BJP may be the ruling party in Madhya Pradesh,but Laxmikant Bajpai,the party president in adjoining UP,was not allowed to enter Arogyadham inside Deendayal Research Centre in Satna district of MP to receive L K Advani,who was arriving to participate in the UP BJPs executive meeting across the border in Chitrakoot. Bajpai and the BJP men accompanying him argued with the MP police,but to no effect. Helpless,they returned to the meeting venue,without receiving Advani.
The BJP executive committee meeting began with much fanfare. Several senior leaders were there on the first day when party veteran L K Advani delivered the inaugural address. But when it became clear that party president Rajnath Singh would not be coming for the concluding session the next day,many left. Vinay Katiyar,Lalji Tandon,Satpal Malik,Hukum Singh,and Nepal Singh all members of the state executive committee and many others were nowhere to be seen on the second day.
Sonia Gandhi may have apologised to Mulayam Singh Yadav for Beni Prasad Vermas verbal attacks,but many Congressmen in the state are upbeat. They say Vermas choice of words may not be appropriate,but he hit the SP where it hurt. After all,this is the first time the SP top leadership reacted so strongly to an attack from a Congressman. Verma is talking the language he learnt in his long association with the SP and Mulayam,they say. Vermas fan following in the Congress has definitely increased.
Former state Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi keeps needling UPCC chief Nirmal Khatri. A few days back,when the Congress organised a protest against deteriorating law and order,Ritas supporters participated wearing T-shirts carrying her picture. Next,when Khatri planned a Holi milan,Joshi went ahead and organised her own Holi milan three days before the official party programme.
Four times sure
After his partys drubbing in the 2012 Assembly elections,Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi wants to be at least four times sure about the reorganisation process in the state. For the selection of presidents of district and city Congress committees,he received inputs from zonal presidents and vice-presidents. The state president also had a say. And now,sources say,a special task force,consisting of National Students Union of India and Youth Congress leaders from different states,which did rounds in the state,has submitted their reports to Rahul.