Off the record

Rise of the progenies

The upcoming Assembly election in Rajasthan may see the rise of progenies of many prominent Congress politicians in the state. They have already started spilling in to the streets to muster support and push for their claim for party tickets.

Their new found enthusiasm stems from the fact that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s assurance that young leaders and fresh faces will get adequate representation and those leaders above 65 should not be given tickets leaving many leaders redundant and paves the way for a generational shift in the party.

Party insiders say young leaders have become more active in their respective areas and claiming stakes on the basis of their fathers or forefathers long association with the Party. There are around two dozen such leaders who are claiming for party tickets on the basis of their ancestor’s connection with the party.

Prominent among them are Vibhav Gehlot, son of chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Divya Maderna, daughter of Mahipal Maderna, Samardha Sharma, daughter of ex-MLA and chairman of National Women’s commission,   Raghavendra Mirdha, son of former minister Harendra Mirdha, Mahendra Bhati son of ex-minister Narendra Bhati, Balendru Singh, son of present speaker of the Assembly Deependra Singh Shekawat and Sanjay Pahadia,  son of former chief minister Jaganath Pahadia.

P J Joychen, Jaipur

Old bonds help renew ties

When Anil Trigunayat was appointed as India’s new envoy to Libya about a year back, he had his task cut out for him – beginning New Delhi’s engagement with the new regime in Tripoli.

It was indeed not an easy task as the new dispensation has taken over after a revolution that overthrew the regime of Colonel Muammer Al Gadhafi, whom New Delhi had cordial ties since the heydays of Non-Aligned Movement. Besides, even when the uprising against the dictatorial regime had intensified, India in March 2011 abstained from voting in the United Nations Security Council on a resolution against the Gadhafi’s government.

Yet, Trigunayat was happy to discover that Mohamed Yousef el-Magariaf, who took over as the President of Libya in August 2012, had an old bond with India. He was Libya’s envoy to India in the 1970s and lived in New Delhi till 1980. Magariaf fondly recalled his days in New Delhi and stressed friendly relation between two countries, not only when Trigunayat called on him, but also when the Ambassador of India accompanied Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed, for a meeting with him last month. Magariaf, however, resigned on May 28.

Trigunayat was even happier when Ali Zeidan, a former diplomat and human rights lawyer, took over as the Prime Minister of Libya last November. He and Zeidan had an old connection – both had studied in the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.
Zeidan not only studied at JNU, but also served as a diplomat in the Embassy of Libya in New Delhi in the 1970s. And, like Magariaf, he too has many fond memories of his days in India.

Old bonds did help build renew relationship.

Anirban Bhaumik,
New Delhi

Anything for info

Short of information and unable to gain access among rustic village folks, the CBI, which was probing the triple murders at Kunda in Pratapgarh, adopted a series of unorthodox methods to get inside information on the killings. The agency pushed its informers among the locals in and around Walipur village.

The informers had been attired in dresses of roaming vendors selling `tikuli and bindi' (a round article that adorn the foreheads of hindu womenfolk) and clothes in the villages.
They also made themselves part of the villagers' `chaupals' (meetings of the villagers) and sold vegetables at busy crossings. They mixed up with the locals and through casual conversations managed to extract information that proved valuable for the agency in reaching at the real killers.

The agency, in fact, managed to solve the case on the basis of information received from these informers. Sherlock Holmes would have envied the CBI if he had been around.

Sanjay Pandey, Lucknow

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