Delhi Diary


Rising Rahul ( pic Rahul Gandhi)
Outside Nehru-Gandhi family, the elevation of Mr Rahul Gandhi to the number two slot in the Congress has resulted in a mixed bag of reaction. It ranges from caution to scepticism to euphoria. A striking contrast is the mood prevailing among the youngsters and the veterans. While the former group sees a fresh whiff of air, the older lot is sceptic and is viewing Gandhi junior’s rise with doubt.
Oblivious of the fact that the experienced veterans have the potential to torpedo his fresh ideas and new plans, Mr Gandhi was quick to address the fears of the seniors while he went to take-over as The Congress vice-president at the AICC headquarters. Though he lauded the services rendered by the senior leaders to the party but was quick to assure them that not only was he convinced of their rich knowledge about the party and the governmental affairs but also that he will fully get benefitted by their experience.
Not the ones to take Mr Gandhi on his face value, the veterans are closely watching each and every move of the Gandhi junior. And to counter them, the Gandhi well-wishers are keeping an equally close eye on the experienced brigade. While Mr Gandhi endeavours to strike a critical balance between the young and the old, the reaction of the latter category who are used to absolute, is still to be gauged.
The hanger-on brigade is led by the high-profile Rajya Sabha TV CEO Gurdip Sappal who has quietly created a space for himself in the Parliament House circles for the past few years. A political appointee, he is known for his proximity to Vice-President Mohammed Hamid Ansari.
But in the recent developing situation, he seems to have preferred Mr Gandhi over his immediate boss. All those gathered at Jaipur for Congress’s ‘chintan shivar’ were in for a pleasant surprise when they found Mr Sappal hanging around. Why so? They were amused to find as to how he found his way to the Pink City as he was supposed to be accompanying Mr Ansari on tour to Vietnam.
But the enterprising Mr Suppal not only abandoned his immediate boss in the midst of the foreign tour but proved his efficiency by arriving in tour in Jaipur to be duly registered by his political bosses. Indeed a future investment.

Antony Stumped  (pic A K Antony)
The woeful lack of coordination or deliberate complacency among the various wings of the UPA Government has not spared even the young bravery award winners who had gathered in Delhi from all over the country to be honoured on the occasion of Republic Day. The brave and gutsy as these young bunch of boys and girls are, they used the opportunity to register their protest with Defence Minister Mr A K Antony when they went to meet him as part of the R-Day exercise.
Believe it or not, Mr Antony was stumped when one of the award winner, a young boy, complained to him that their family members have not been given passes to watch the R-Day parade of which the brave children are a party every year.
The gentleman, as Mr Antony is, was visibly disturbed and annoyed. Not only did he console the young boy but immediately order enquiry as to how this faux pas took place.
The preliminary enquiries have revealed that the situation had arisen due to some manipulation at the end of the Indian Council for Child Welfare which normally deals with the award winning children.
Well red-tapism and bureaucratic manipulation did not spare even these young impressionable minds.

Kamal’s Handling (Pic Kamal Nath)
It is all about chairs and seats. The ruling UPA combine has though lost some important allies such Trinmool Congress, but it has managed to retain additional seats on the first row of the Lok Sabha. After the parting of ways by the Trinmool Congress and some smaller groups, the UPA was entitled to only nine seats in the front row. But deft handling by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mr Kamal Nath, and his skills to negotiate the matter with the Trinmool Congress, saved the day for the ruling alliance.
Not only it resulted in the TMC being stopped from claiming a seat on the first row but also helped the UPA retain its 10 seats. The result was that both RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and Janata Dal (s) supremo and former Prime Minister Mr H D Deve Gowda were saved from the blues of shifting to the back benches.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 25 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 25 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 26 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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