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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Delhi Confidential: Causing ripples

Given Sonia Gandhi's privileged position, she is naturally aware of many dark secrets of many respected Congress leaders.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: August 4, 2014 12:20:47 am
Sonia Gandhi with Rahul Gandhi Sonia Gandhi with Rahul Gandhi

Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s recent declaration of intent to write her autobiography may not have deterred ex-Congressman Natwar Singh — the only one in the grand old party who used to address her as Sonia instead of Ma’am, Soniaji or Mrs Gandhi — from bringing out more skeletons from the cupboard, but her remarks have certainly sent shivers down the spine of many Congress stalwarts. Given her privileged position, she is naturally aware of many dark secrets of many respected Congress leaders. At a time when a large section of the party is losing faith in the leadership quality and potential of her heir apparent Rahul Gandhi and some of them have started even voicing it, her announcement about her autobiography has created more ripples within the Congress than outside.

SENIOR Congress leader from Haryana Kiran Choudhury’s meeting with Union Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley last week sparked off wild rumours in the state. Coming as it did at a time when another Bhupinder Singh Hooda detractor Choudhury Birendra Singh was preparing grounds to switch loyalty from the Congress to the BJP, Kiran’s meeting with Jaitley — she was accompanied by her daughter and ex-MP Shruti — had the top Congress leaders in Delhi sit up and take note of. It, however, turned out that politics was not the agenda of the meeting at all. Kiran’s husband the late Surendra Singh was a friend of Jaitley and she had come to meet him to seek his advice on some personal matter.

THE Health Ministry, which lost its battle with MCI in the court over medical seats last week, is unhappy with government law officers some of whom have represented the council in the past. In fact, even after the ministry’s decision to intervene in the matter had been cleared, the intervention did not happen for a week. It finally took a call from Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to A-G Mukul Rohatgi to get things moving.

LOCKED up in a Delhi jail for the last five months, the latest choice of the lawyer by Sahara chief Subrata Roy makes it amply clear that he and his team have run out of options over preference of lawyers who could get him freed. Senior advocate Harish Salve is the latest high-profile counsel engaged by the group to represent Roy. However, Salve had once appeared alongside the CBI’s counsel in the 2G case wherein Roy and others were accused by the agency of interfering with the probe being conducted by an officer of the Enforcement Directorate. It was during Salve’s presence during the hearing on November 7, 2012 that the court had taken a very strong view against the alleged interference, saying there were attempts to pressurise the officer not to proceed with the investigation with respect to “certain individuals”.

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