Delhi DIARY

ANIL ANAND

Hyperactive Functioning ( Pic Kamalnath)
The Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mr Kamal Nath is being talked about for his inaccessibility all the time as compared to his predecessors, of late, he is also in the focus for positive reasons. The Parliamentary House corridors and the Central Hall are abuzz with talks of his proficiency in floor management particularly reaching out to the more troublesome non-Congress non-UPA political parties such as the BSP and the SP.
He had his way on the issue of passage of legislation related to permitting FDI in retail. His detractors have often been found to give him a left-handed compliment while reminding that the worst is still to follow with both BSP and SP, providing outside support to the UPA Government, taking each other head-on the reservation issue. Some have been openly poking fun at him while others were doing so in whispers.
Known for his hyperactive ways of functioning and having his own way in the ministerial functioning, Mr Nath in his present avatar as Parliamentary Affairs Minister, is trying to prove his capabilities as a politician. Well, much will depend on Ms Mayawati, if the Bill related to reservation in promotion is to see light of the day, a nonchalant Mr Nath casually reacted.
Well it might have given some momentary sadistic pleasure to his detractors listening to him over a cup of tea in the Central Hall. But there joy was short-lived. More was still to come particularly for those indulging in whispering campaigns against him. By the way Ms Mayawati has already agreed. Pat came the counter-whisper before the hyperactive Mr Nath made an exit in a supersonic speed while leaving everyone guessing and aghast.

Learning the Business ( Pic Chirenjeevi)
The southern cine-star turned politician and new tourism minister Mr Chirenjeevi is gradually getting acclimatized to the rough and tumble of the Delhi’s political circles. Given to the joys of five-star culture, he does not let any opportunity to sip a cup of steaming coffee in the Central Hall of Parliament and mingle with MPs and media-persons.
He is trying to understand the ropes of the Parliamentary practices particularly the Central Hall culture. Believe it or not, paying tips to the waiters serving coffee in the Hall is the favourite topic of discussion these days. Mr Chirenjeevi found himself trapped in one such discussion as the topic focused on how another MP from his state Andhra Pradesh Mr Jagan Reddy handed over a Rs 1000 currency note to a waiter for a cup of coffee costing a paltry sum with an express an order to keep the change.
There after it has raised the expectations of the waiters serving in the Parliament House canteen and elsewhere. Quick to fathom that those narrating the Jagan Reddy story wanted to trap him by following the suit, Mr Chirnjeevi was quick in his reflexes to ward off the likely attack and prevent its repercussions.
Quick to deliver a faster one on his Andhra Pradesh political detractor Mr Reddy, Mr Chirnjeevi sarcastically questioned the means of the former’s earning. “ Uski kamayi mein pasina to ha hi nahin. Use kya farak padta hai.... (His is not the hard earned money, how does it matter to him.....) came the repartee which left every one surprised. Ha he really learned the ropes of politics?

Singh’s Intelligent Answer (Pic N K Singh)
Politics sometimes makes strange bedfellows.  Critics in the morning can become friends by the afternoon. The same is true of Commerce Minister Mr Anand Sharma and JD (U) Rajya Sabha MP and former high profile bureaucrat Mr N K Singh. The two had a long wordy dual while the latter was speaking on the Bill permitting FID in retail. There were frequent skirmishes and also compliments exchanged.
But the BJP leaders were in a for shock when they later spotted the MP, Mr Singh, from their front-ranking ally the JD-U, in an animated conversation with the Minister moments after the NDA and other parties had forced adjournment of the House on the very issue. A BJP leader immediately conveyed his party’s displeasure to Mr Singh that they were surprised to see him speaking so cordially with the Minister after a wordy dual only sometime back.
Known for his intellect and intelligence, he was quick to clear the air, “We can disagree on many issues but that does not mean we shoot each other. Well, that proved to be enough to silence his senior ally party.  
The ruling UPA really seems to be missing the services of the old warhorse and political veteran Mr Pranab Mukherjee who had been instrumental in warding off many crisis for the ruling dispensation particularly the Congress. Eversince, he has moved to the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the mantle of crisis management has fallen on the new Leader of the House in Lok Sabha and Home Minister Mr Sushil Kumar Shinde.
Pranab da’s shoes seem to be too big for Mr Shinde to step into.  It is obvious from the manner in which Mr Shinde  has been found wanting in tackling the political crisis cropping up in Parliament House during the ongoing Winter Session.
He was nowhere to be spotted during the controversy related to the FDI in retail. From an omnipresent Pranab da to a missing Mr Shinde, was a new experience for the ruling UPA. During the entire crisis Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mr Kamal Nath and his deputy Mr Rajiv Shukla was seen grappling with the crisis on behalf of the Congress.
Finance Minister Mr P Chidamabram has also been playing a key to convince the opposition about the need to pass the pending reforms related legislations.
Is it a new arrangement at work post Pranab da scenario? If Mr Shinde’s supports are to be believed, managing the internal security related issues in North Block is keeping him over-occupied. Strangely, Pranab Da (as Finance Minister) operating from other corner of the North Block never felt constrained on this count.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 14 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 14 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 15 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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