Off the record ..

Master stroke?

As the BJP leaders prepare to trumpet their party’s “achievement” of scrapping the Delhi University’s Four Year Undergraduate Programme, the mood in the city Congress is that of nervousness.

The saffron party’s plan to project the FYUP rollback as a fulfilment of its poll promise is worrying the Congress leaders who are unsuccessfully trying to share the credit for the university’s decision.

The Congress leaders realise that in the run-up to the imminent Assembly elections, they will not be able to counter the BJP’s attempts to take credit for the FYUP rollback.The possible impact that the rollback decision would have on polls is still being studied in the Capital’s corridors of power. However, Aam Aadmi Party and Congress leaders admit privately that the FYUP rollback might turn out to be a “master stroke” for the BJP, whose government at the centre played a pivotal role in scoring a “victory” in the Delhi University battle ground.    
 Rahul Chhabra, New Delhi

Controversy’s child!

When it comes to courting controversies this season, there’s no stopping Kerala’s Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb. Close on the heels of the official transfer of a school principal – allegedly for criticising the minister who turned up late for a function – Rabb has found himself cornered over green writing boards picked for classrooms in some schools in Malappuram district.

The decision could have been passed as administrative routine elsewhere considering the increasing global acceptance of green writing boards. But not when the man involved is Rabb, a senior leader of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) that has green on its official flag. The minister clarified later that the decision had nothing to do with politics and black was replaced with green only for better visibility. It came a day too late; satirists on social media had already unleashed a hard-hitting campaign, slamming the minister and his “green drive”.

R Krishnakumar, Thiruvananthapuram

Don’t attack

Cornering UPA seems to be the mantra of some BJP ministers but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said a big no to such efforts. Some of the ministers wanted the new NDA government led by the BJP to come out with white papers on the state of various ministries under UPA. They wanted to “tell” the public about the sorry status of affairs under the previous regime of the Congress in the past 10 years and that they have to clear the mess before embarking on with their development agenda.However, the new Prime Minister has nipped the idea in its bud. Modi has refused to go ahead with the idea saying he is not for accusatory politics though he had led a very attacking campaign against the UPA during the Lok Sabha elections a month ago.

Shemin Joy, New Delhi

Landing in trouble

Suresh Kumar Routray, senior Congress leader and former Odisha minister, is known in the state’s political circles for his straight forward talks and humorous comments. However, one of his recent statements on the election expenditure of candidates has not only embarrassed his party colleagues but may land the veteran politico in trouble. 

   “These disclosures of election expenses by candidates are all eyewash. No candidate ever discloses his or her real expenses during the elections. Even the figures I have submitted to the Election Commission are false. The real election expenses of a candidate are far higher than what he or she submits to the EC”, Routray told reporters while reacting to a news report in a local daily on the election expenses submitted by the candidates during the recently held Lok Sabha and assembly elections in Odisha. 

Observers believe that Routray who had lost the assembly elections would be in trouble if the EC takes note of his frank public admission that he had spent much more than what he has disclosed. 

S T Beuria, Bubhaneswar

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