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Why Gandhis Bury Animus Against Deceased Arun Nehru

Updated: August 17, 2013 12:40 pm

Arun Nehru, a cousin of Rajiv Gandhi, who died at the age of 69 on July25 lasted just seven or eight years in the power structure in Delhi but even that was a roller-coaster ride. But he did leave an imprint on politics of those years. No wonder his cremation on July 26, a day after his death, brought to the crematorium leaders from all political parties. But the biggest surprise was when Rahul Gandhi walked in, followed by Sonia Gandhi and then Priyanka and her husband. Why did they bury the old enmity? And worse why a channel and national newspapers reported that Rehan, son of Priyanka Gandhi lit the pyre when actually it was lit by Akhil the grandson of Nehru. The channel just removed the website where the wrong information was given but there was no corrigendum or apology by anyone.

The Gandhis did not attend the wedding of the elder daughter of Nehru. In fact, Rajiv or his friends played a cruel joke. The wedding was from 14, Akbar Road where Nehru lived. Soon the road was closed for the traffic and news filtered that the Prime Minister’s convoy was travelling through it. Nehru and the guests, relatives were sure that he was coming to the wedding. Rituals were stopped, because Sonia would also join. But after an hour the convoy sped past and was gone past Nehru’s house in seconds, leaving a very embarrassed Nehru.

Why then such a change of heart? One simple explanation was that in the elite Kashmiri community the Gandhis had earned a bad reputation both for boycotting Nehru’s daughter’s wedding and more recently Varun’s wedding. Varun had himself gone to invite his aunt Sonia. So the Gandhis did not want to alienate community any more, said a source. In fact, he confided that Priyanka had been visiting Nehru for over a month. The other explanation by a political analyst was that generally such a gesture would go down very well with traditional families–the potential voters.



They Know No Shame


Strange controversies continue to surface regularly just like scams. Their frequency is expected to increase manifold as elections near. The latest was over the letter sent off to President Barack Obama by allegedly 65 MPs asking him to keep the ban on a US visa to Narendra Modi. After the news came out in papers and discussed by Panels mostly anti-Modi, on various TV channels, many MPs including Sitaram Yechury, M P Achuthan (CPI) and K P Ramalingam (DMK) denied they signed the letter. Subsequently, about 10 MPs denied asking Obama to maintain status quo.

Ramalingam has now threatened to move a privilege motion as to how his name is on the letter. This could unearth many mysteries behind the letters sent by Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha MPs separately. Moreover, the fact that Ramalingam is moving the Privilege Motion despite the Coalition Against Genocide (CAG), campaigning against Modi and based in Washington asserting that two forensic laboratories have declared letters to be genuine means something is wrong. Rajaswamy of the CAG said, “It proves the document is authentic, without any ‘cut and paste’ operation.” But unfazed Ramalingam is moving the Privilege Motion which would possibly unravel as to who were behind the letters and whether the Forensic Labs’ reports were wrong. Was there a conspiracy to hurt Modi and if so who were the conspirators.

Whatever it might be the authentication by a forensic expert commissioned by CAG does not prove anything as far as the US Administration is concerned. A reliable American source said that the State Department does not rely on any private organisation; it has its own labs and experts to test any document.

A former US diplomat said, “We are not bothered about what anyone says or want, America makes decisions on whether it benefits or serves the country’s interest.” In a way whosoever brain wave was to prepare the letters wasted its time and energy. It is indeed surprising that no one asked whose idea it was and who prepared the letter and sent it to Obama. The reason to know this is important. For one, the MPs embarrassed the country. They asked a foreign country to decide on what was basically a domestic issue.

They have violated the provisions of the Indian Constitution by which they swear. These MPs should ask the Indian government to order Modi to submit his passport to Home Ministry. A more severe and useful for the Congress step would be to ban Modi from travelling anywhere outside Gujarat. Then he cannot head the campaign committee and rouse voters by his speeches which are very effective. But unfortunately, for the Congress and these MPs, judiciary, at least the higher one is still acting as a watchdog. There is no criminal conviction or case against Modi. His passport cannot be forfeited nor can he be banned from travelling all over India.

Secondly, by writing to President Obama these MPs showed they had very little faith in the Indian judiciary or political system. These MPs seem to continue to suffer from the hangover of the Raj and still feel servile to white skin. For them a ban by the US is much bigger thing than any action through the Indian political system or judiciary. If they go and tell their voters that Modi has been banned by the American Saheb, the ruler of America, do these MPs think voters would be more impressed.

These MPs have brought embarrassment to the country, besides exposing their own ignorance. It’s time for Modi-baiters to really wake up and smell the coffee. Even the US media has scoffed at the move. And office of Modi was prompted to say that he doesn’t quite need the US visa. He would not apply for one.



Advani’s Somersault


A rebel against the goings-on in the BJP since a few months, which saw President Rajnath Singh strongly backing Narendra Modi and ultimately making him chairman of the Central Election Committee, L.K. Advani, livid at Modi’s elevation had been prophesising that BJP would not do well in election since it failed to take advantage of the unpopularity of the corruption—ridden and highly unpopular UPA government and the Congress in particular. But suddenly last week, he came out with a prediction which took the party by surprise. Addressing a meeting he said that the BJP would break all records and do extremely well in the 2014 election. His optimism took everyone by surprise. Why such a change of heart.

An insider revealed that while people thought that RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat was trying to placate Advani, the fact was that he did some plain-talking with him. Like others the RSS Supremo knew that “Advaniji” would outwardly abide by Bhagawat’s formula but he would along with his loyal supporters try sabotage Modi’s nomination as prime-minister-designate. Two rebel Bihari BJP members alleged that Ananth Kumar who has been given very prominent role in the scheme of things drawn up by RSS chief, is out and out Advani man and whatever be inducement he would never change his loyalty to Advani. Kumar is already, said to be, working to sabotage return of Yeddurappa to the BJP, whereas Narendra Modi is trying hard to get him back.

One sure forecast is that more conspiratorial schemes, more deadly underhand moves and derailments would be witnessed in this election year. Another forecast is that 2014 election would see more abusive language being hurled at opponents. The Congress has some very adept spokespersons in this field. They do not need any reorientation to learn the latest most abusive words. BJP would be put hard to match the firing power of two or three Congress spokesperson.

A wag suggested that Darogas from UP should be made to listen to expletives by a few spokesperson, it would add to their vocabulary. Possibly alarmed Rahul warned that no bad language should be used. Lets see!



The UP Secret Report


A secret survey conducted by the Congress has reported that two ministers Salman Khurshid and RPN Singh are unlikely to be re-elected. This is nothing surprising. The veterans in the party, who have been put on the shelf by the Rahul’s new dispensation, have already been counting how many seats the party would win in UP. The most optimistic of them are unable to go into double digit. How sad! UP used to be Congress’s citadel!

The report has, sources allege, angered many including Khurshid and Singh. But Rahul Gandhi is expected to believe the contents of the report. Singh is a member of the family of former Rajas of Padrauna, the constituency from where Singh stands. He is reportedly preparing his own report based on an extensive survey of voters to show to Rahul that he is very much electable.

But Khurshid is on slippery ground. Arvind Kejriwal had gone to Farrukhabad, despite threats from Khurshid’s sympathisers and held a meeting of the disabled who allegedly cheated by the Trust in the name of Salman’s grandfather the late President Zakir Hussain. It created bad name for Khurshid. Secondly Khurshid’s wife lost the election from Assembly seat badly, came fourth or fifth. Her security was forfeited. Khurshid might try for Rajya Sabha, like Chidambaram, but the question is from which State. According to surveys, the party is not expected to do very well in most States.


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