Tips For Dada
When the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee called up the outgoing Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi on the eve of general Budget presentation in the Parliament, the political circle without losing anytime got into a speculative mode. Every possibility was discussed threadbare from Trivedi being accommodated in the Congress to Dada advising him to mend ways with the iron lady of Trinamool Congress Mamata Banerjee. However, a top rail ministry official with rich experience dealing with similar situations opined that probably Dada had called up Trivedi to ask for tips so that he did not find himself in the same situation as the beleaguered Railways Minister.
Congress stance on Uttar Pradesh’s Raghuraj Pratap Singh aka Raja Bhaiya suddenly changed after UPA discovered that the government was being targeted alike by its allies and the Opposition. Following the voting on National Counter Terrorism Centre when UPA saw walkout of its two important allies Trinamool Congress and Bahujan Samajwadi Party, spokesperson Abhiskek Manu Singhvi claimed that charges on Raja Bhaiya are politically motivated. Clearly the move is out of compulsion to save the government from falling apart as political pundits are not ruling out mid-term elections given the political instability of the incumbent government. Incidentally, Raja Bhaiya, who faces eight criminal cases and was charged under the now defunct POTA, will be in charge of UP’s prison department and of food and civil supplies.
Overlooking the candidature of Central Minister Harish Rawat may cost the Congress dear as the Rajput leader from Uttarakhand has displayed his discontent. Peeved Rawat is also learnt to have written a letter to the UP chairperson Sonia Gandhi explaining the bias against the person who got the party in winning seat. Managers such as Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma are working overtime to mollify Rawat.
Rawat’s patience ran thin when Rita Bahuguna Joshi called him and suggested to remain calm in difficult times. He shot back saying that what face do you have to pacify me. You (read Rita) are among the favourites who despite the failures are being given awards. Rawat further said despite poor show in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections your brother Vijay Bahuguna is chosen for the top job in the hilly state.
As a matter of fact, Rawat has also managed sizable number of MLAs in the state. Bahuguna’s swearing in as Chief Minister was marred by the absence of 24 party MLAs. Most of those stayed away in support of their leader. MLAs are resisting Bahuguna’s alleviation as they feel a Rajput, Rawat, has been overlooked twice. First time in 2002 he lost out to veteran leader ND Tiwari, and now to 10 Janpath’s favourite Bahuguna.