Off the record

Sleepless winter nights

Delhi’s winter nights have been infamous for their biting cold. Absence of adequate clothing and the heating arrangements makes common man more vulnerable to it. This time, the effect seems to be going a different way; the common man is feeling warm and energised if gatherings at Aam Aadmi Party’s meetings are any testimony. But it is not the same for the political class. The unkind political wind blowing around them has made them extremely uneasy.

Which political party is the most affected by this seemingly ferocious wind? Obviously, the Congress is at the receiving end. The Congress leaders were just recovering from the humiliating defeat at the hands of a novice politician, Arvind Kejriwal when the statements of investigations into scams started coming in.  Obviously, it is sending chill through their spine.

 “This season, they are braving the unkind winter winds thanks to the AAP,” remarked an observer in  the power corridor. “But relief is yet to come,” reply came in from another, “the AAP is keeping silence over the issue and it has made situation more uneasy - nights have become entirely sleepless for former rulers of Delhi.”

Anil Sinha, New Delhi


Hitting at mom's favourites

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi seems to have a special knack at targeting his mother Sonia Gandhi’s favourites, whether it is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde or all-time ally Lalu Prasad.

Lalu was the first victim when Rahul talked about the ‘nonsense’ ordinance to protect convicted lawmakers. Along with Lalu, Singh also lost some face as his Cabinet cleared the ordinance, which many said was aimed at protecting Lalu. Singh had to preside over another meeting to reverse his own decision and Lalu lost his Lok Sabha membership.

Snub or not, Lalu is not the one to lose heart. On Sunday in Muzaffarnagar, Lalu did say this, "Arvind Kejriwal and Narendra Modi are nothing in front of Rahul. Rahul Gandhi is Rahul Gandhi." Lalu but did not say that politics is politics because he wants an alliance with Congress in Bihar.

Shinde, another of Sonia's chosen one, can turn out to be Rahul’s victim. Named in the Adarsh housing scam by an inquiry commission, Shinde was relieved when the report was dumped. Now, Rahul wants to dig it up and the home minister could lose his post along with his sleep.

With Rahul making more public appearances, a senior Congress leader has this to say, “he is ensuring that Congress is losing 10 seats every time he addresses media.”

Shemin Joy, New Delhi

Lyricist minister

Union Minister Kapil Sibal who made his debut as film lyricist with Bollywood flick Bandook earlier this year, has not been deterred by the lukewarm response the movie received in the box office. The minister claims he is writing lyrics in Hindi and Urdu for several other movies, which will be released in 2014. Author of two poetry books, Sibal wrote a romantic song (tu bata de) for Bandook, which was the directional debut of Telegu star Aditya Om.

The two-term minister began writing poems, first in his cell phone as short messages, which were later collated and edited for his book.

One of Sibal's cabinet colleagues, Salman Khurshid too writes poetry and one of his poems in the memory of December 16 gang rape victim was recently sung by eminent vocalists in a public function in the capital. If the Congress-led UPA government failed to come back to power, both Sibal and Khurshid would be having more time in pursuing their literary hobbies.
Kalyan Ray, New Delhi

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