Although he made a name for himself for de-clogging economic activity in the highway sector as the Union Road Transport and Highways Minister, Nitin Gadkari is off and on reminded of the political heavy-lifting required to resolve the inter-state water disputes in his role as the Water Resources Minister. It was driven home recently by an AIADMK leader in Tamil Nadu. The senior leader suggested that if Gadkari helped resolve the Cauvery dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the leader would put up the Union minister’s photo next to the existing ones at his home – that of Lord Balaji and “Amma (former TN chief minister J Jayalalithaa)”.
Many participants attending the festival of letters at the Sahitya Akademi have an issue on their table, and it has nothing to do with the written words. Many were heard complaining that the week-long celebrations offer only vegetarian meals for lunch. A guest from South India, craving for a non-vegetarian meal, lamented that guesthouses and hotels where writers and poets have been hosted during the event also serve only vegetarian fare. The festival, which began on February 12, winds up on Saturday.
Change Is On Board
While the change of guard took a long time, the change of board also took a while to materialise. Two months after Rahul Gandhi took over as Congress president, the party’s national headquarters finally reflected the change this week. The main hoarding outside 24, Akbar Road had for years had Sonia Gandhi’s photograph alongside the Congress electoral symbol. On Monday, a new hoarding was put up. It carries Rahul Gandhi’s photograph.
Uphill In The Hills
Before Assembly elections in their home state, Rajasthan, three Congress bigwigs – Ashok Gehlot, C P Joshi and Sachin Pilot – have faced tough challenges. Gehlot had an uphill battle in Gujarat, where he led the Congress to a creditable performance. Pilot came out with flying colours in the recent by-elections to two Lok Sabha and an Assembly seats. Now all eyes are on Joshi as three states in the Northeast under his watch are going to the polls. While the Congress is trying hard to retain power in Meghalaya, it is struggling to stay afloat in Tripura and Nagaland.