While suspense remains about who all get into Rajnath Singhs team,to be constituted after the BJP conclave this weekend,two Rajya Sabha MPs have reasons to be upbeat. Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar have been chosen by the top brass to move the political and economic resolutions respectively at the conclave. While Prasad and Javadekar are feeling important,this is likely to result in much heartburn in the partys flock in the Lok Sabha,who were hoping for a better deal from the new party president.
KNOTS AND CROSSES
RAILWAY Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has promised to clear a lot of pending projects but two high-profile ones,announced eight years ago,might prove to be a bottleneck. The diesel locomotive factory at Marhaura and the electric locomotive unit at Madhepura,both in Bihar and announced by Lalu Prasad,are so entangled in red tape that nothing has moved despite countless bureaucratic exercises. The projects are worth Rs 3,400 crore. Over the years,files relating to the projects,objections by officials,reservation over different forms of financing,even comments from expert committees as well as Cabinet has all tied the issue in such a knot that no one in the Railways,or in the government,is able to find a way around,let alone take the projects forward. Officials say these two projects are unlikely to see the light of the day anytime soon.
A delegation of MPs,led by MoS for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla,was pleasantly surprised by the welcome it was given in Australia. The Aussies laid out the red carpet and premiers of two of the six states called on the delegation. Not too long after though,it dawned on the Indians that their interest was not in the parliamentary delegation but Shuklas position as IPL chairman. And the premiers flew down all the way to Sydney to explore cricketing options in future in their respective states.
HAVING gained formal control of his party,Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi,it appears,has decided to take a few lessons in coalition management. And there are few better persons to learn this from as Sharad Pawar,whose relationships with leaders across the political spectrum is well acknowledged. Rahul went to meet the NCP leader Wednesday. While both sides described it as a courtesy call from Rahul after taking over as vice-president,the two are learnt to have spent more than half an hour together,discussing the political situation.
DURING Wednesdays debate in the Rajya Sabha on the plight of the Tamil population in Sri Lanka,speakers were repeatedly trying to catch the attention of the Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid who was engaged in light conversation with colleagues sitting around. After several references to his name went without much response from Khurshid,V Maitreyan of the AIADMK sought the ministers attention more forcefully. This time Commerce Minister Anand Sharma,who was in a row ahead of Khurshid,turned and remarked that Khurshid was in such an exalted company that he was unable to pay attention to anything else. The dig was directed at Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh with whom Khurshid was sitting and having a conversation.