In and Out
They came, they saw but could not conquer. And they left with the same speed at which they landed. Top Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Kamal Nath, Mukul Wasnik and C P Joshi had surprised everyone by landing in Shillong as the counting of votes was under way. The Congress has rarely reacted and responded to a situation with such speed. And as it became clear that the NPP and BJP had managed the numbers, they vanished. Patel and others left Shillong late Sunday afternoon while Joshi left at night.
The saffron sweep in Tripura has caused several upsets in the hitherto Red bastion. But it isn’t just the Left leaders who are staring at political uncertainty. In the list is a road — Marx-Engels Sarani — in the heart of Agartala where the government quarters of ministers, including that of outgoing CM Manik Sarkar, are located. Possible replacements, albeit tongue-in-cheek, such as Deen Dayal Upadhyay Sarani or Syama Prasad Mookerjee, are already being talked about . It won’t be surprising if Mookerjee trounces Upadhyay in this battle.
Jubilation with jokes
As top BJP leaders gathered at party headquarters in Delhi to celebrate their victory in Tripura and gains in two other states, Congress emerged as the butt of their jokes. One top leader was heard wondering whether Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s Italy visit ahead of the polls there will help the progressive forces or end up inadvertently beefing up prospects of the right wing in Italy. In another joke, delayed construction of the Congress headquarters in the vicinity was projected as an opportunity for the grand old party to raise their building higher than the BJP headquarters to have bragging rights of standing taller than the BJP even after its electoral decimation in different parts of the country.