Off the record

If Modi goes  to Delhi…

The announcement of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi contesting from Varanasi means less planning and less protocol for bureaucrats in Gujarat. Though he continues to be the chief minister of the state at least till the dates of the results of Lok Sabha are announced, the bureaucracy here is a relaxed lot.

While the pro-Modi camp of officials have already started applying for deputation at the Centre, the remaining cadre which have remained on insignificant posts are now hoping that they might find themselves in better position a post-Modi era. So while the BJP cadre across the country is working toward a 272+ mission for the BJP, the IAS and the IPS lobby here are hoping the accession of the CM to New Delhi could probably bring them out of the hibernation that they have been in for more than the last one decade.

Swati Bhan, Ahmedabad

Pacifying the Church

The stiff opposition from the Left front apart, the Congress party in Kerala has run into a new challenge ahead of the Lok Sabha election – pacifying the Catholic Church. The Church has already issued circulars cautioning believers against “anti-people governments” over implementation of the Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats.

On Saturday, Idukki Bishop Mathew Anikuzhikattil vented ire on some of the Congress leaders while talking to the media even as Dean Kuriakose – Congress’ candidate from Idukki – meekly looked on. Kuriakose, also the state Youth Congress president, was in the Bishop House to seek his blessings for the election when the Bishop trashed the party and YC, leaving TV channels with fodder for their satirical shows.

Kuriakose, who has taken defiant stands even against senior leaders of the Congress-led ruling front, left without a hint of dissent. The Congress top brass has also been quiet on the issue. Holding fire till the poll results? Watch this space.

Krishna Kumar R, 

Thiruvananthapuram

Congress’ troubles

The Congress has been hit by desertions as the 16th Lok Sabha elections approach near. It was a big embarrassment for the Congress as Bhagirath Prasad, who was nominated as the party candidate from Bhind in Madhya Pradesh, joined the BJP and sang paeans to Narendra Modi.

In Odisha, the Congress was equally stumped when the Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh and CLP secretary Anup Sai crossed over to the BJD. Congress leaders could do little than terming the moves by party leaders as “betrayal” and “opportunism”.

In Seemandhra, where Congress leaders are leaving the party in hoards, former Union Minister D Purandeswari crossed over to the saffron party. The BJP is planning to field Purandeshwari from Vijaywada with an eye on votes of the Kamma community to which she belongs.

Sagar Kulkarni, New Delhi

Father’s tantrums

Uttar Pradesh's young chief minister Akhilesh Yadav finds himself in a dilemma of purely personal kind. It has do with his father and Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav. Akhilesh feels that he does not know his father that well. “I am not able to understand when he (Mulayam) is the party president and when he is a father,” he said after Mulayam gave a dressing down to Akhilesh's ministers recently. Addressing a meeting of the senior party leaders, including ministers, Mulayam had told Akhilesh, who was also there, not to fall to the trap of ‘sycophants’. 

“Every one gets scolded by their fathers if they do anything wrong,” he said. But then Mulayam has also praised Akhilesh's government on many occasions. And that is what seems to have confused Akhilesh and hence the dilemma. Unless he is able to crack the mystery, he will remain apprehensive at the meetings if Mulayam is also present there. 

Sanjay Pandey, Lucknow

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