Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s sudden decision to fly to Chennai to see Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at Apollo hospital left state party leaders scrambling. No one, not even state Congress chief S Thirunavukkarasar, had any information about the visit. Once he found out, Thirunavukkarasar tried to contact some leaders in Delhi to confirm the news. Tamil Nadu Congress leaders are now busy assessing the impact of Rahul’s visit on the party’s tie-up with the DMK, especially ahead of local body elections. Some party leaders feel the visit would not have gone down well with the DMK, whose leader M Karunanidhi had asked the state government to release photographs of Jayalalithaa to end rumours about her health. Rahul did not meet any DMK leaders and left within two hours of landing in Chennai.
His predecessor Prakash Javadekar was usually out of Delhi on the weekends. Most of the time, he would travel to Maharashtra, his home state, or Madhya Pradesh, which he represents in Rajya Sabha. But new Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave plans to visit every state. In his three months in office so far, Dave has been to Punjab, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Puducherry and, most recently, Manipur and Mizoram. On almost each of these trips, he held public interactions besides meeting officials and government functionaries.
100 years on
Having held programmes on prominent Sangh Parivar icons, including Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Deen Dayal Upadhyay, the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library is now organising an “inaugural function” to mark the birth centenary of another Sangh icon, Nanaji Deshmukh, on Monday. MoS Culture Mahesh Sharma and Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti will be present at the occasion. A respected RSS Pracharak, Deshmukh was also associated with the Bharatiya Jana Sangh before he was sent to Rajya Sabha by the A B Vajpayee government.
Not many were aware that the Prime Minister of Republic of Guyana Moses V Nagamootoo, who is of Tamil origin, is in India these days. At a dinner reception by Congress Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha in his honour, officials accompanying the soft-spoken politician sought investment from Indian companies in Guyana.