Off the record

Off the record

Fund trouble

The high-pitched Lok Sabha campaign mounted by the Narendra Modi-led BJP had sent the Congress searching for a proper response. Congress leaders dug deep into the party’s treasury and were soon scraping the bottom. If a senior Congress leader is to be believed, the party was forced to take an overdraft from a prominent public sector bank in the middle of the campaign. No wonder several Congress leaders started complaining about the “Rs. 5,000 crore” election campaign launched by Modi with generous help from corporate sector. Things would have been different had the Congress had not rubbed the business sector the wrong way by launching investigation into alleged tax violation, raised retrospective tax invoices or use the environment clearances for projects as a political tool. Modi, on the other hand, laid a red carpet to business houses investing in Gujarat and ensured that they do not face any difficulties in meeting their timelines.

Sagar Kulkarni, New Delhi

Happiness amid gloom

Defeat can also bring happiness. While a pall of gloom has descended on the majority of Samajwadi party (SP) leaders following their worst-ever performance in Uttar Pradesh in the just concluded Lok Sabha polls, a section of the party's Muslim leaders are feeling happy. These are the leaders, who had been feeling isolated owing to the growing clout of the firebrand SP leader Azam Khan. “Khan had assured netaji (party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav) that SP will get Muslim votes in the polls but that did not happen,” these leaders now say. They are now certain that Khan's clout will now not be the same. “The police will not rush to find his buffaloes if they are stolen now,” they say. SP has lost even in Khan's stronghold of Rampur this time as Khan's protege Nasir Ahmed lost to BJP by a huge margin.

Sanjay Pandey, Lucknow

Bowing out

The UPA-II’s last Cabinet meeting on Saturday was chaired by defence minister A K Antony and it happened minutes after the Union Cabinet under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recommended dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha following the mammoth verdict in favour of the Narendra Modi-led BJP. In the meeting under Antony, the UPA ministers thanked the PM for his leadership in the last five years. Signing the minutes of this thanks-giving cabinet meet was the last file that Antony signed before he bowed out of the corridors of powers. But India's longest serving defence minister met each of his staff and officials in the defence ministry and media and thanked them before driving out of the South Block for the last time. 

Kalyan Ray, New Delhi

Copying Modi

After winning over the entire country, the magic of Narendra Modi has now influenced the bureaucracy of Rajasthan. Most bureaucrats can be seen reading the development model of Gujarat through various books on Gujarat Chief Minister Modi. The recent book ‘Modinomics’ is the hot topic of discussion in the corridors of power. Most bureaucrats are reading the book to study the Gujarat model of development. Several babus had no hesitation to reveal that instruction to read the book have come directly from the chief minister’s office (CMO). If officials are to be believed, CMO has even arranged the book to several department heads in Rajasthan. The Raje-led BJP government is entirely focusing on the Modi’s model of development. Highly placed sources informed that state government will soon send a delegation of the officials to Gujarat to study the work done by Modi on social and industrial infrastructure and policies by Modi.

Abhishek Gaur, Jaipur

Fresh faces

The Delhi Pradesh Congress, which faced a crushing defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, is mulling over inducting fresh faces. A massive rejig in the party's state unit is likely to take place very soon. A senior party leader said that the results of the elections show that Muslim dominated areas, which were once considered stronghold for the party, have rejected them. Party sources confirmed that none of the leaders who lost the seats, except former minister Ajay Maken, will get a chance to contests in any polls in the near future. Maken, who is considered close to the party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, might be considered as the new face of the party's state unit. At least four former party MPs have demanded tickets for possible Assembly elections.

Abhishek, New Delhi