Off the record

Thunder ties

It’s not only Maharashtra where the NCP is giving Congress sleepless nights over seat-sharing. In Bihar too, the relations between the two alliance partners have strained over one particular seat.

The grand old party had, in principle, decided to leave one seat - Katihar - to NCP leader Tariq Anwar, a former Youth Congress president, who joined Pawar camp when the latter formed NCP, and is at present Union Minister of State, Agriculture in UPA-II. 

But the NCP is not satisfied with one seat in Bihar. It wants Ujjiyaarpur Lok Sabha constituency for its state president Nagmani, who is known to change colours like a chameleon. He was initially RJD MP, before joining the saffron camp and becoming a minister in Vajpayee regime. Then he switched over to the LJP, before joining Nitish’s bandwagon. Now that he is in the NCP, no one knows for sure how long will he stay there. Therefore, neither the RJD, nor the Congress or the LJP leaders are willing to leave any seat for this party-hopper.

Abhay Kumar, Patna

Mud-slinging battle

Present Mumbai Police Chief Satyapal Singh’s seeking voluntary retirement, even though a highly calculated political gamble, has sparked off a mad scramble amongst fixers and power-brokers lobbying for their respective candidates.

That the posting is politically sensitive even during ordinary times is a well-known secret but extraordinary times require extraordinary strategies; with elections both for state assembly and parliament round the corner, both Congress and Nationalist Congress Party are extremely wary of the person they chose.

And the candidates as well as their lobbyists are leaving no stone unturned; thus everyday local media carries a story-even though feeble in its content and allegations- against probables and hot favourites.

Last week it was against ATS chief Rakesh Maria and this week it is against Additional Director General (ADG-Law and Order) Javed Ahmed, reportedly extremely good at PR (press relations) and hailing from minority community; interestingly, mud-slinging battle in modern times has found a new arena called-cyber space and the result: social media sites are also flooded with poison letters.

After all, Mumbai police chief is a throne which every IPS greenhorn after entering portals of state cadre covets to sit on, even if it is for a brief period, before leaping to the state police headquarters and pass into the oblivion of retirement.
Prabhat Sharan, Mumbai

Drawing media attention

It is common knowledge how difficult it is to get a proper media attention. But Delhi law minister Somnath Bharati is getting it too effortlessly to make others jealous. Leaders in other political parties are helplessly watching him stealing the show virtually without trying for it. |

It needs no emphasising that most of his media presence has come his way through his theatrical performances in as serious a field as politics is. Can anyone imagine a minister making raids in the night against crimes committed in dark hours? People know his overzealous act of inviting judges to his meeting. His ‘innocent’ delivery of accusing media persons of receiving money from Narendra Modi has also been seen by all.  Does it make any difference to his position in the cabinet? AAP insiders say he just received some bitter criticism from senior members of the party and expects nothing more. 

“Kejriwal protects him with all his might because he has been his old associate. The Delhi chief minister is considered very weak on that count. He is not ready to sacrifice those who have been associated with him for long,” say party insiders. 

“Does he need any other support when some one like Kejriwal is protecting him? Go on Bharati!” a political observer throws a hearty laugh. 

Anil Sinha, New Delhi

Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi? Who will win the battle royale of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019


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