Congress, not ministry, first
What happens if there are two power centres in a government? Certainly, there would be humungous confusion and disorderliness. This is the true picture of the UPA government. While the Prime Minister is asking for the progress report from the ministers, UPA chairperson, Madame Sonia, who also happens to be Congress president, wants the ministers to work and strengthen the party in their respective constituencies for the coming Assembly Elections in UP. It is said that Sonia Gandhi has directed all the five ministers (three cabinet and two state ministers) from the state to devote more time in the state than in their ministries. As an obedient worker they are following the instructions and, therefore, their ministries are left in the hands of the bureaucrats and babus.
After the defeat of DMK and the return of AIDMK to power, the Congress is hammering out a new strategy, so that it could maintain its position in power equation. According to a party insider, though the Congress will continue its alliance with DMK, it is also keen on having a cordial relation with AIDMK. A senior party leader said that for the Congress there wasn’t any problem handling two regional rival parties at a time, as it was following this strategy successfully in Uttar Pradesh, where the party succeeded in getting the support from both SP and BSP, whenever it was in trouble. He further said: “If this strategy can work in UP, then why can’t in Tamil Nadu?” So, one shouldn’t be surprised if, in the future, AIADMK is seen supporting the Congress.
Party time for TMC
The landslide victory of the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal brought a windfall for the neighbouring state of Odisha. Post the swearing in, the city of Puri was flooded with more than 450 SUVs, a flotilla of Innovas, Xylos and Scorpios, in which descended the victorious hordes of the Trinamool Congress workers along with and the newly elected MLAs. Most of the vehicles still carried the signs of the election campaign.
Many of the hotels at Puri had been booked. The boisterous party workers were on cloud nine and all made a beeline for the world-famous Jagannath temple. Even the newly sworn-in Railway Minister Mukul Roy flew down from Delhi to get the Lord’s blessings. There were rich pickings for the Temple priests and the locals. A very senior CPM leader was also seen at one of the posh hotels; the poor man was licking his wounds. However after the Lord’s blessings, it was party time. All the three liquor vends on the sea beach ran out of stock and they had to rush in for replenishments from nearby places. The scene was the same at Chandipur, too. Here too the hotels were full, with the crowds mulling around the small bazar. One could easily single out the Trinamool folks; they were just brimming with bravado and joy. May the good times last!
Karnataka Governor Hansraj Bhardwaj is in limelight for being extra active. While the BJP is blaming him for being politically motivated, the Congress is not denying it either. A senior Congress spokesperson commented that Bhardwaj was trying to show his political activeness, so that the party high command could transfer him from the Raj Bhavan to the Centre. He said that there was one more Governor eyeing for a place in the Cabinet and that was Shivraj Patil, Governor of Punjab with additional charge of Rajasthan. “Bhardwaj is hyperactive and crosses his limits, while Patil is sober and patient, but both have the similar intentions,” he commented.