Delhi confidential: Mango Diplomacy

He got boxes of Alphonso mangoes delivered to senior Congress leaders, including general secretaries, just as Vaghela was making rounds of their offices.

By: Express News Service | Published:June 2, 2017 6:04 am

Gujarat Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela has not exactly endeared himself to the party brass in Delhi with his recent actions. Posters naming him as chief ministerial candidate have been seen in Gujarat, and his decision to ‘unfollow’ top party leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, on Twitter raised eyebrows. Last week, he happened to be in Delhi meeting senior leaders. At that very time, his chief rival in the state, PCC president Bharatsinh Solanki, decided to make his presence felt in the national capital. He got boxes of Alphonso mangoes delivered to senior Congress leaders, including general secretaries, just as Vaghela was making rounds of their offices.

Poll Jitters 

The task is tough, but Congress general secretary in-charge of Northeastern states C P Joshi seems to have given up before it has begun. Nagaland and Tripura are due for polls in eight months, and the Congress is in poor shape in both the states. In Tripura, seven of the 10 party MLAs had defected while in Nagaland, all its eight MLAs had joined the Naga People’s Front government. Joshi has now apparently told the party high command that his junior associates, K Jayakumar and Bhupen Kumar Borah — secretaries in charge of Nagaland and Tripura respectively — be given the responsibility of the elections. Joshi’s attempt to shift the burden has not gone unnoticed.

Making Room

Hari Krishna Paliwal, adviser to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, has had to sacrifice his office for the benefit of his boss’s guests. A former IAS officer, Paliwal had a room next to the minister’s office. Recently it was decided to make the room a waiting lounge for guests. A new room has been allocated to Paliwal, but that is some distance away — outside the security cordon that separates the Home Minister’s office on the first floor of the North Block.

Tough Trip 

Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Satish Verma, currently posted as CRPF IG in Tripura, had to approach the Supreme Court for permission to fly abroad for his son’s convocation. His leave application had been rejected by his department. He then appealed to the Central Administrative Tribunal, to no avail. The Tripura High Court also rejected his petition. However, the Supreme Court last month allowed him to travel to the US to attend the event. Verma is known for leading the investigating into the alleged fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan. Last year, he prepared a report alleging a scam at North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited in Shillong.

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