The Bhadohi preface
The Samajwadi Partys victory in the Bhadohi by-election has come as a sanjivini for the party which was facing a virtual rebellion from its Muslim leaders over Mulayams friendship with Kalyan Singh. Bhadohi city,known as the carpet town of UP,is dominated by Muslims. Obviously,the SP has bagged a substantial chunk of Muslim votes. Naturally,the SP leaders are upbeat. On the other hand,the BSPs Dalit-Brahmin-Muslim combination has come unstuck in Bhadohi. Is it time for Behanji to rethink her social engineering? Well,as they say,one swallow does not make a summer. Lets wait for the Lok Sabha elections.
Introducing minister,Rahul way
During his recent visit to Amethi,Rahul Gandhis carcade made halts in Mohanlalganj and Bahadurganj areas where he tasted chat and samosa at wayside shops. Accompanying him was Minister of State for Steel and Mines Jitin Prasada. At the chat shop,Rahul pointed toward Prasad and asked the people,Do you know him? Nobody recognised Prasada. Ye Steel Minister Jitin Prasada hain, Rahul introduced Prasada to his voters. BSP men in Amethi commonly describe Rahul Gandhi as the inaccessible MP. Maybe,this was Rahul Gandhis way of sending out a message that he is not really inaccessible.
State Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi,sharing the dais at the Jamait Ul Ulma convention,was clearly not amused when Maulana Arshad Madni indulged in sabre-rattling. In his hour-long speech,the national president of Jamait heaped insults on the Congress,even comparing it with the champions of Hindu Rashtra. The Maulanas patience with the Congress is wearing thin. He is close to 80 years,but the Congress doesnt care,while his nephew Maulana Mehmood Madni has been in the Rajya Sabha for the last three years. The Maulanas elder brother,Asad Madni enjoyed the fruits of power all his life. He was sent to the Rajya Sabha several times during the days of Indira Gandhi,but the new generation of the Congressmen doesnt seem to realise the importance of the Jamaits national president. Rita Bahuguna had little to offer,except that she would convey whatever Maulana said to the partys high command.
Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh seems to be on a mission to mend his fences with the IAS lobby that always hated his presence on the fifth floor of the secretariat annexe building. The way he handled the recent conflict between IAS and the IPS associations shows it all. While IPS officers wanted the police commissioner system in some towns,IAS officers said it would dilute their power and authority. They were also against appointment of IPS officers as secretaries or in other important posts. But IPS officers asked why not. Office-bearers of both organisations were pulled up for fighting in the open,but the IAS lobby got what it wanted. The government has denied that there is any move to shift a DG-rank officer to the fifth floor,or any plan to implement the police commissioner system. The talk in the babudom is that the Cabinet Secretary needs the support and goodwill of the IAS lobby to maintain his position in the wake of the emergence of BSPs Brahmin mascot Satish Chandra Mishra as the number 2 in the government. Since Mishra is directly dealing with senior IAS officers,who knows what all they can convey to him. So,why not keep this lobby happy?
Health Minister Anant Kumar Misra found himself in an awkward situation at a conference on leprosy on Sunday. He came dressed in a western suit,while a Japanese expert,Yohei Sasakawa,who is president of Nippon Foundation and also WHOs goodwill ambassador for Leprosy elimination,and his colleagues from Japan were all attired in white kurta-pyjamas. This set off whispering in the audience and Misra looked uncomfortable. But he regained his composure and quickly apologised,I put on a suit,thinking that foreign delegates would be present. But watching Mr Sasakawa I have realized that I made a wrong choice. I am peoples representative,and I should have chosen their attire.