Delhi Confidential: Duel another dayhttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/delhi-confidential-duel-another-day/

Delhi Confidential: Duel another day

Hours after Arvind Kejriwal took oath as Chief Minister of Delhi on Saturday,Rajnath Singh refused to field queries about him.

Hours after Arvind Kejriwal took oath as Chief Minister of Delhi on Saturday,BJP president Rajnath Singh refused to field queries about him or the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) saying with a cryptic smile,“Aaj nahin,aaj ke din unko shubhkamna dene ke siva kuchha nahin bolunga (not today…I will not say anything other than wishing him well).” Former BJP president Nitin Gadkari was not so charitable though as he came out with an industrialist-mediated Congress-AAP machination theory to target Kejriwal. Knowing Rajnath Singh,Kejriwal had rather take his ‘shubhkamna’ with a pinch of salt,for the BJP’s hope of making a comeback in Delhi hinges on Kejriwal government’s failure to deliver on the AAP’s promises.

CRACKS WITHIN

The ruling Congress is split over the Centre’s decision to institute a commission of inquiry to probe the so-called Gujarat snoopgate. Chief Minister of a Congress-ruled north Indian state let his displeasure known to his party colleagues during lunch break at the party chief ministers’ meeting last Friday. Asserting that the Congress needs to strongly counter Narendra Modi and take him head on,the CM lamented the Centre’s decision to set up a commission ostensibly to target the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate. He was of the view that it might boomerang and end up rather strengthening Modi. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde who,as usual,has taken credit for the idea of setting up the commission,was also quite confident at the meeting,notwithstanding senior leaders’ barbs at Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan for rejecting Adarsh Commission report that indicted Shinde. A visibly happy and confident Home Minister,in fact,complimented Rahul Gandhi for convening the CMs’ meeting and exhorted him to make it a regular exercise.

CLUELESS IN UP

As young Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav flounders every step of the way,Bahujan Samaj Party leaders are having fun at his expense. A senior BSP leader recounted how a businessman,whose ‘work’ had got stalled due to change of regime in UP,was advised to approach the young CM. Akhilesh reportedly assured him that he would clear the file “agar aap neeche se clear karwa kar le aayie (if you get it cleared from lower levels)”. The businessman acted accordingly and when the file reached the CMO,he approached Akhilesh again. The young CM said genially,“You know I have no problem in clearing it but ek baar upar se clear karwa lijiye (but get it cleared from Mulayam Singh Yadav)”. Recounting the plight of businessman,the senior BSP leader added,“Now you know why Behanji does not need an alliance partner in UP.”

CADRE CLASH

The fight between CBI cadre officers and IPS officers on deputation in the agency has created a piquant situation as the former have complained that they are being made to work under their batch-mates as junior. DIG Ravikant who is presently heading the coal block probe cases is an IPS officer of 1998 batch while Nirbhay Kumar,the SP who reports to him,is also from 1998 batch. Similarly,in the anti-corruption unit headed by IPS officer Mahipal Yadav,SP M S Singhal reports to him. Both are from 1997 batch. SP Vivek Priyadarshi,a CBI officer of 1998 batch who led the 2G scam investigations,also reports to IPS officer Santosh Rastogi,an IPS officer of the same batch.

POSTING PUZZLE

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje recalled six bureaucrats who were on Central deputation to Rajasthan. Among them,one name that has raised curiosity in the bureaucratic circle is the recall of Rajiv Singh Thakur,former PS to Union minister C P Joshi,who was awaiting his promotion as Joint Secretary. Nobody seems to know how Joshi’s not-so-cordial relationship with former CM Ashok Gehlot would have a bearing on Thakur’s posting in Rajasthan.