Rise of Raj
Tongues have been wagging in political corridors of Mumbai ever since Ratan Tata spent a good two hours at the MNS chief Raj Thackeray’s residence in Dadar recently. It was followed up by a visit of Amitabh Bachchan. Tata and Raj are both fans of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. There have been whispers that a few other society and industry chiefs, including the Ambani brothers, too have dropped in and spent a considerable time with the new tiger in the pack. Last month the senior Consul of the US embassy too had paid a visit.
This reflects the growing prominence of Raj in Maharashtran politics. The power center in the state seems to have shifted from Matoshree to Raj Thackeray’s Shivaji Park residence, Krishna Kunj.
In the wrestling ring
Azam Khan, the irascible second most powerful politician in Uttar Pradesh, has been lately flexing his muscles a bit too often. The outspoken Azam Khan has been going hammer and tongs, the latest being his terse comments of the Raja Bhaiya affair. The distancing of Syed Ahmed Bukhari from the SP will not bode well for him. His role as the Muslim face of the SP has taken quite a beating in recent months.
His bravado has not gone down well with the party supremo Mulayam Singh, who recently said that some leaders were under the false notion that the SP came to power because of them. Netaji opined that these leaders should realise that it was only because of the efforts of the party cadres and youth leaders that they secured a majority in the assembly. The discomfiture of Azam Khan in the Akhilesh cabinet is now in the open. Whether Azam Khan go the Amar Singh or not will play out in the next few weeks.
Gentlemen & handshakes
The BJP in Odisha has got a shot in the arm by the appointment of KV Singhdeo as the state president. The party rank and file is now happy and enthused as the impasse of the new leader has been finally decided by the high command. In his first public speech to the party workers in Bhubaneswar, the Maharaja, as he is popularly called, went for the jugular, calling Naveen Patnaik a crook who would soon share the adjoining cell with Madhu Koda.
The next day, reporters in the Press gallery witnessed an amusing drama being enacted in the state Assembly. The newly appointed party president was being greeted and congratulated by members of the ruling BJD and the Congress when he saw the CM step inside the house. Kanak Vardhan went forward and did a Namaskar and then extended his hand anticipating a handshake, but Naveen Patnaik just ignored him, giving his a cold shoulder. The red faced BJP leader was seen complaining to the senior BJD leaders about the attitude of their leader. One bad turn deserves another.
In a strange gaffe, the Minority Welfare Ministry of the central government has brought out a child nutrition booklet titled “Poshan”. In this book the UPA government has advised that to increase oxygen and iron in the blood, children should eat eggs, chicken and beef along with vegetables. This book is being distributed in minority dominated areas of UP. Apart from hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus, the UPA government seems to have violated Article 48 of the Constitution through this book. It is clearly enshrined in the Directive Principles of State Policy that the “State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.”
It is quite obvious that this book is written with a particular bent of mind, otherwise pork should have also been mentioned.