Assembly elections over,the buzz is now about the strike rates of senior leaders who had wielded their influence in their respective parties to get tickets for their nominees. Supporters of Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley are,for instance,flaunting the success of his nominees. There were murmurs in a section of the party when Jaitleys former assistant O P Sharma got the BJP ticket from Vishwas Nagar. Sharma did not let down his patron though. But Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swarajs nominee Shikha Roy,who was fielded from Kasturba Nagar,lost. In the Congress,there are murmurs about the defeat of Alwar MP and Rahul Gandhis close aide Jitendra Singhs nominee A A Khan from Tizara in Rajasthan. He had been given ticket despite reservations of the state Congress.
The Congresss last-ditch attempt to get Mamata Banerjee on board on the land boundary pact with Bangladesh has failed once again. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid tried to set up a meeting with the TMC chief during her stay in Delhi but she is said to have declined on the ground that wider consultations with states were necessary before making any move on the issue.
While the SP and Congress are not in the best of terms,especially after the riots in Muzaffarnagar,SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav remains inclined to engage with the Congress,apparently mindful of the possibilities after the 2014 general elections. It was evident on Tuesday when Congress MLA Pramod Tiwari filed nomination papers for by-election to Rajya Sabha. While Congress does not even have numbers to contemplate sending a Rajya Sabha MP,Tiwari has done it with Mulayam deciding not to field anyone although the SP could have easily gained the seat. All it needed was a phone call from a top Congress leader to get Mulayam leave the seat for Tiwari.
CBI Director Ranjit Sinha is learnt to have put a spanner in West Bengal cadre IPS officer Ranjit Pachnandas bid to come to the agency on deputation. His appointment had been cleared and recommended by CVC Pradeep Kumar and Home Secretary Anil Goswami. But Sinha,who was opposed to his selection,has met the PM and conveyed his reservations,said sources. Pachnanda,who had earlier served in CBI,was said to have got an adverse report from the Intelligence Bureau and the CBI special unit,which was said to have been shared with the PMO.