When the political atmosphere is tense, a politician’s every move is closely watched and interpreted. At the launch of the book The Contenders: Who Will Lead India Tomorrow in the national capital on Thursday evening, the seating pattern of young leaders at the dais triggered curiosity in the audience. RLD’s Jayant Chaudhary, Congress’s Sachin Pilot and SP’s Akhilesh Yadav were on one side while NC’s Omar Abdullah and BJP’s Ram Madhav were on the other side of the stage. When asked if the seating order could indicate corresponding coalitions, Abdullah jumped in to say “no, not with them”, pointing to Ram Madhav. The discussions got a bit heated between Akhilesh and Ram Madhav, with the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister criticising the BJP and its government in his state.
Close friends often complete each other’s sentences. On Thursday, however, two known adversaries were seen doing this when Congress president Rahul Gandhi and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu held a joint media briefing after a meeting at the former’s residence. As Rahul began looking for the right word while saying “We have come together to deliver on…”, Naidu promptly came to his aid: “…people’s aspirations.” Rahul said, “Yes, people’s aspirations.”
The HRD Ministry has initiated the process to find the next vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia. Talat Ahmad had resigned this year, before his term ended, to join as the head of Kashmir University. A search-cum-selection committee has been set up with three members and UGC chairman D P Singh has been appointed as the head of this panel.