Nothing works on a politician better than an electoral setback. Thanks to the rout of the BJP in three by-elections, Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje seems to have developed new urgency to improve her report card in an attempt to improve her prospects for the upcoming assembly polls. A ring-road for Jaipur is learnt to have become her first priority. And, she has made it known to her officials that she wants the Rs 980-crore project — six-lane 47 km road — completed in six months.
Always Willing for public engagement, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu barely has time to prepare for engagements. It came to fore on Saturday when Naidu had too many commitments to meet. He had to change in the lounge of the Delhi airport’s technical area before his meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at Hotel Maurya. Naidu, who was in Calicut, landed in Delhi around 4.20 pm and was scheduled to meet Rouhani at 5.30 pm. Going home and then leaving for this meeting would have led to many complications, including the imposition of traffic regulations for VVIP movement twice. So, Naidu changed at the airport itself.
Poster To Pond
Apart from a multi-storey building, sprawling lawns, conference rooms equipped with advanced systems and a hall for meetings of the party’s parliamentary board, the new office of BJP has a small water body where lotuses were found floating on the day of inauguration. Lotus is the party’s election symbol but it was so far not seen in its physical form in any office of the party.
Arvinder Singh Lovely, former president of Delhi Congress who quit the party and joined the BJP, has had a homecoming. It is heard that Lovely is not alone. At least three other leaders are itching to return. Among them, it is being said, is former Union minister Krishna Tirath, who joined the BJP in January 2015. But it is learnt that the Congress is not keen. In fact, it decided to take back Lovely because it wanted to create a perception that the tide is turning in its favour. One gets to hear that Congress president Rahul Gandhi had asked Delhi leaders whether Lovely’s homecoming would be good and agreed only when he was told that taking him back would be a practical move aimed at breaking the perception that people are fleeing the Congress.