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Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi took some time off politics Thursday to take care of family matters.

October 26, 2013 1:00:48 am


Under attack from dissidents,Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi took some time off politics Thursday to take care of family matters. His son Gaurav has married his British girlfriend,an alumna of the London School of Economics. While the wedding was in Gogoi’s hometown,the Assam CM threw a reception in Delhi. The venue was a ministerial bungalow in Lutyen’s Delhi and among the high-profile guests was Congress president Sonia Gandhi. While Rahul Gandhi was away in Madhya Pradesh addressing back-to-back rallies and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — an MP from Assam — was in China,many ministers including Sushil Kumar Shinde and Kamal Nath turned up. BJP patriarch L K Advani and JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav too attended the function.


Given their bitter parting with its 17-year-old alliance partner JD(U),senior BJP leaders — Sushil Kumar Modi,Ravi Shankar Prasad,Rajiv Pratap Rudy,Shahnawaz Hussain,Nand Kishore Yadav — worked overtime last few weeks to mobilise crowd for Narendra Modi’s Patna rally on October 27. While the bulk of the crowd is being mobilised from the city and 25 Assembly constituencies near Patna,they have deployed more than 20 trains to ferry audience from across the state. Party leaders are learnt to have advised Modi to speak a bit of Bhojpuri and Maithili to connect with the audience.


While Pallam Raju is keeping off the HRD Ministry with his resignation offer still under the Prime Minister’s consideration,the ministry has been wearing a deserted look with many others following suit,albeit for different reasons. His deputies Shashi Tharoor and Jitin Prasada are now increasingly spending time out of the Capital and in their constituencies. Joint Secretary A K Singh is away at Cambridge University for a short-term course while Joint Secretary Praveen Prakash is also currently in the UK leading a delegation that is assessing e-learning possibilities. Secretary Higher Education Ashok Thakur,incidentally,was also away in London and only returned on Friday.


Former BJP president Nitin Gadkari’s comments Wednesday explaining the differences in his party through a “Draupadi” analogy drew chuckles and sneers in the opposite camp. Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh,who is locked in a legal battle with the senior BJP leader,who had filed a defamation case against him,pounced on the opportunity to tweet on Friday: “Nitin Gadkari — Draupadi had 5 Husbands but BJP has 105! Is Modi aware of this?”

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