Mulayam’s political somersault in backing Congresss Presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee that came within 48 hours after he had joined ranks with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to propose three other names for the candidate has got the SP treading cautiously with Mamata. In the first fallout of the breaking down of relations between the two,SP has cancelled its national executive meet that was slated to be held at Kolkata (July 10-11). In fact,partys Rajya Sabha MP Kiranmoy Nanda,who played an emissary between Mamata and Mulayam during this episode,had already tied up arrangements for stay and the convention in Kolkata. But,given the acrimony between the leadership,the party obviously did not want to attract the wrath of the TMC by celebrating its UP election victory in Kolkata.
CONTINUING with its recent initiative to travel to the state capitals to popularise governments achievements,the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Media is travelling to Jaipur on Wednesday. However,it will be a depleted GoM that will land in the Rajasthan capital,with neither Home Minister P Chidambaram nor Law Minister Salman Khurshid being present. Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni will also not go. All these three ministers were present in the GoMs trip to Bhopal and Ahmedabad. But unlike Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat both of which are BJP-ruled states Rajasthan is ruled by the Congress. So the visit of a full-fledged GoM was perhaps not considered necessary. Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Minister of State in the Prime Ministers Office V Narayansamy will do the needful in Jaipur.
LOK Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Tuesday hosted a breakfast-cum-lunch for Pranab Mukherjee at her residence. On offer was some of Mukherjees choice delicacies like payesh and fish fry. Kumar claimed Dada was the most correct choice for the next President to all those present. Meira Kumar,incidentally was one of the possible contenders for Rashtrapati Bhavan but those present said the mood was extremely celebratory at the event.
SHORTLY after the party disowned his remarks about Mamata Banerjees tantrums and a second-term for Vice-President Hamid Ansari,Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh called on the Vice-President on Monday. The senior Congress leader has remained tight-lipped about his discussions with Ansari,but he is not the only one in the party who wants the present Vice-President to continue. Many other senior party leaders and ministers are said to be in favour of a second term to Ansari. Officially,however,the party has maintained that it is yet to discuss the Vice-Presidential candidate and therefore it is premature to talk about giving Ansari another term.
THE Trinamool Congress is making a big deal about Mamatas Banerjee debut on Facebook. The posts on her Facebook wall are full of laudatory comments running into hundreds. Party MP Derek OBrien has been given the task of keeping a watch on her profile. There is a clear instruction from the party boss to filter out any objectionable comment from the posts. The TMCs web team is always on its toes to fish out negative comments being a public profile,anyone can comment and delete them immediately. As a result,negative comments on her posts are conspicuous by their absence. The users on the social networking site are discussing that even though Mamata has opened herself up to the big bad world of social media which she has often criticised in the past she is wary of its power to ruin a well-thought out image-makeover campaign.