Army General Versus India’s General?
The non-conformist and a highly controversial former Army Chief V.K Singh, according to reliable sources, could stand against Sonia Gandhi for the Rae Bareli Parliamentary election in the General Election 2014. It is said he has had a round of talks with senior BJP leaders.
A traditional pocket borough of the Gandhis’ Rae Bareli has invariably elected either one of the Gandhi clan or anyone nominated by them. Arun Nehru won from there having been chosen by Rajiv Gandhi.
Only once, in the election after the Emergency, Indira Gandhi was humiliated by Raj Narain, who until then was considered a prankster in Indian politics. The defeat had sent Mrs Gandhi in near oblivion. It was the infighting in the Janata Party and Sanjay’s street fights that his mother could rise again. Initially, Gen Singh wanted to contest from Bhiwani, in Haryana which is his home state. But the temptation to fight against the most powerful person in the country was too much. What if he wins? Apart from a ministerial berth if BJP is able to form the government, he would be ‘news’ around the world. But even if he loses his name would be flashed all over. Yes he must remember that Sonia Gandhi can be quite vengeful.
Realistically, the chances of defeating a Gandhi in Rae Bareli are the best this time. In 2009 election Sonia Gandhi won by 3.80 lakh. But in the Assembly election last year Congress candidates lost in all the segments of the Parliamentary constituency.
There is also a sizeable population of Thakurs in the constituency and also of former servicemen. They would be Gen Singh’s vote bank. He would also be helped by the Narendra Modi’s campaign and the efforts of Amit Shah who has reportedly let loose in every constituency, 10 people to contact people door to door and the help in getting people to go to the polling booths.
The three senior BJP leaders he met are said to be excited at the prospect of the General taking on the head of the Gandhi dynasty and of the Congress party.
Let’s see by the election time the General can hold his nerves. He should know that even if he wins but the Congress becomes a part of the new government, even Gods might find it difficult to save him, from the fury of a scorned Gandhi.
Secondly, one supposes that a former chief of staff contesting against one who is virtually a supremo in the Civilian government would not set a good precedent. A serving chief of staff could develop differences with the government and then wait until the end of his tenure to take it out on the government. This could take various forms!
Search For Safe Seat For Crown Prince?
It is real irony. Rahul Gandhi ‘adopted’ Uttar Pradesh for turning it into a fiefdom and raise hundreds of thousands as volunteers for the Congress Party. He has spent more than two years criss-crossing the state. One never thought that his own constituency of Amethi would be of any worry. But, lo and behold for almost a year, in fact since Anna Hazare’s first hunger strike the Amethi voters have been restive. Reports about protests and intense questioning by villagers were either censured by the media itself or they avoided printing such reports under pressure of the “higher-ups”.
But the old saying is, news is what someone, somewhere is trying to suppress. So such news occasionally percolated and we used to hear from time to time of alleged demos held against him or his cavalcade being stopped and he would be asked uncomfortable questions. But even then no one thought his party strategists or his mother would be concerned about his chances of winning from there.
Apart from other ministers reportedly searching for safe constituencies, one is told that a safe seat is being identified for Rahul as well. Sources said Sonia wants Medak, from where Mrs Indira Gandhi had contested in 1980 and won. She feels its a safe one, as Indira Gandhi won from there after her humiliating defeat in 1977.
Sharif’s Peace Wish Washed Away By Kayani
Ever since his becoming Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been talking about peace with India. New Delhi’s mandarins have been quite taken up and had been earlier talking about Dr Manmohan Singh going to Pakistan on Sharif’s invitation.
One expected while on the visit to Pakistan, Dr Singh would go to Gah, his birthplace. It could have been a nostalgic and a very emotional visit, seeing the site where his house was and meeting some people who would have known his family.
But the recent killings of Jawans and about 30 violations of LoC have cast shadow on his Pakistan visit. However what one hears from Defence and Intelligence sources is that the Army has “advised” Sharif that he could go on talking peace or whatever but he could not settle anything concrete. If peace has to be with India, Army would decide.
Hate Modi, But….!
These days diplomatese and subtle attacks have gone out of vogue. Direct attack, if not abuses, are preferred lingo. But these days when criticising Narendra Modi, Congress spokespersons seem to lose their balance. Criticisms turn into jokes. Sample some: In an interview Narendra Modi when asked what his favourite fruit was, he said mango. This was breaking news on a few channels. Digvijay Singh who speaks out on everything observed that Modi was an elitist. The aam aadmi’s fruit is banana.
He also observed that banana was a very favourite fruit of Gandhiji. That was a cue for Manish Tewari who is famous (infamous) for his acerbic ridicules which unfortunately for him turn out to be false. Anyway picking up from Diggi Raja, Manish Tewari said Modi did not like banana because it was a secular man’s (Gandhi) favourite whereas Modi was communal. He added that Modi does not like guava, because its green which is the favourite colour of Muslims. Another Congressman said that Modi was dealing with big business so he liked expensive things not poor man’s banana. For the knowledge of this gentleman a banana costs Rs5. So if a poor man eats it six day in a month, he would be on the limit of poor and non-poor. God save the Gandhi’s party from such enthusiastic Modi-baiters.
Treasury And Opposition Benches Unite For A “Cause”
The Supreme Court’s decision that the moment a legislator is convicted, he would automatically be ejected from Parliament or Assembly has been a nightmare for our venerable members. Almost one-third of MPs face criminal charges some accused of murder and incitement to murder. The whole complexion of Indian politics and calculations for electoral success would be upset. A don is a preferred candidate because vote for him out of fear. Or a head of a particular community is selected even if he is facing charges like rape or kidnapping, because he would secure the full support of his community.
Since malaise affects all parties, the whole Lok Sabha is united to somehow remove this sword from their heads. The man of all seasons who can magically convert Rs1.76 lakh crore to zero, Kapi Sibal has volunteered to save his colleagues. The only problem is that the change would be only through an Act of Parliament and needs three-fourth majority. Of course, the abrasive and shameless would say Aye but hopefully there are a few at least a little over 136 MPs who could say Nye! But meanwhile Lalu Yadav leader of the regional party RJD must be busy with various Pujas and Havans and chanting of Mahamritunjya jaap. A judgement is expected at any time now in the infamous Fodder case. If he gets convicted his life in politics would meet a hoary end!
A Musical Trap
Uday India warns all its readers who are likely to visit Vienna, the Mozart country. There is a nice little restaurant which stocks most rare and enticing wines. Its breads are famous. Tourists flock there to try the crisp, hot breads and wine. They enjoy their wine leisurely. But when they leave, one must observe how their faces are pallid except for red eyes that indicate extreme anger and frustration.
One tourist from Germany too went there. He went for light snack and a glass of wine. When the bill came he was stunned. The cost of snacks and a glass of wine was $9.00 but the Bill was for $109.00.
He angrily asked the owner to explain. The crafty owner turned to the inside page of the cover of the Menu, in smallest possible print was written, cost of music $50 per half hour. “Sir”, he said “you sat here for about two hours and 20 minutes, I have not charged you for those extra minutes.”
He was not bothered that the customer might not come back to his eatery because he knew tourists keep coming and fall in his musical trap.
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