As Congress president Rahul Gandhi continues to make changes in the AICC secretariat, many in the party are wondering why Mukul Wasnik and to some extent C P Joshi still have charge of more than one state. Joshi, in fact, is still in charge of West Bengal and the entire Northeast although Bihar was taken away from him recently. Wasnik, on the other hand, is in charge of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Pudducherry. The buzz among leaders from the Northeast is that a Congress MP from the region is lobbying for the appointment of Shashi Tharoor as the Northeast in charge. It is not known whether Tharoor is interested.
The BJP central election committee on Sunday declared a list of 10 candidates for the UP Legislative Council polls. An ommission from the list was state party vice-president Daya Shankar Singh, who was fielded for MLC elections in 2015 and 2016 when the party did not have the required numbers. He lost in 2015 by three votes and in 2016 by two votes. The reason for his ommission, sources said, was that his wife is a minister in the state government and the party needed to accommodate the spouse of Union minister Anupriya Patel for the sake of coalition dharma.
Niti Aayog’s grand plan to wind up or merge autonomous bodies has been shot down by several ministries on some ground or the other. The HRD Ministry, for instance, has not agreed to merge the Central Institute of Classical Tamil in Chennai with the Central University of Tamil Nadu as language is a sensitive matter and can trigger protests. It also turned down the proposal to merge ICSSR, ICPR and ICHR as the RSS was not too happy with the idea. The only proposal it has agreed to was the merger of National Council of Rural Institutes (NCRI) in Hyderabad with National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD). It turns out that this too may not be possible as NIRD in a meeting held to discuss the merger expressed its unwillingness to take in NCRI. The ministry is waiting to see if NIRD communicates this in writing.