DELHI DIARY

ANIL ANAND

Between Thackrays
There is no love lost between Gujarat Chief Minister Mr Narendra Modi and Shiv Sena was amply clear when the Sena supremo Mr Bal Thackrey had during his life time snubbed Mr Modiís claim to be the NDAís Prime Ministerial candidate by backing the name of Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Smt Sushma Swaraj.
But Mr Modi seems to have the knack to rub the people on wrong side as instead of making efforts to mend fences with the Sena, he dared them in their stronghold Mumbai. The entire Mumbai was dotted with hoardings prominently showing his new found slogan; ď I am a Hindu nationalistĒ.
Taking it as a direct affront to Senaís own Hindutva agenda, the present Sena head Mr Udhav Thackrey travelled all the way to Delhi to give his piece of mind on Modiís claim to be the Prime Ministerial nominee. Although he was in the Capital city to address an ASSOCHAM conference, he did not miss the opportunity to have a dig at Mr Modi.
Not only was Thackrey junior evasive to commit support to Mr Modiís candidature, he did not mince words and delivered a strong message to Mr Modi who is perceived to be more close to Udhavís cousin and now his arch rival in Maharashtra politics Mr Raj Thackrey.
Not only did he take time off to meet senior BJP leader Mr L K Advani who has been opposing Mr Modiís overbearing attitude in taking over the party affairs, Udhav gave a strong impression that he and the BJP chief Mr Rajnath Singh will together select a better Prime Ministerial candidate when the time comes. Let the NDA come to power, was his sarcastic remark to media-persons question on Sena support for Mr Modiís name.
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Delhi Battle
Historically and politically speaking Delhi has always been important for many reasons and this has been proved from time to time. Delhi Assembly elections, due later this year, are being serious viewed by both Congress and the BJP as there is a feeling in the two parties that a victory in Delhi will start a trend that will be replicated in the general elections in early 2014.
If the grapevine has it right, the BJP is frantically looking for a chief ministerial candidate who could stand up to Congress chief minister Mrs Sheila Dikshit under whose leadership the party will contest elections to try and win a consecutive fourth term.
And the BJP nominee could be TV-star turned politician of the Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu fame Samriti Irani who is a favourite of Mr Narendra Modi. If the latter has his way, he will impose Ms Iraniís candidature over Delhi BJP which is already a divided house with all leaders of consequence angry with the party chief Mr Rajnath Singh nominating Mr Vijay Goel as the Delhi BJP chief.
If the report comes true, Ms Iraniís advent on Delhiís BJP scene will add more confusion to the partyís preparations for the coming polls. Although she is not new to Delhi having already contested Lok Sabha elections from Chandani Chowk where she was defeated by Union Minister Mr Kapil Sibal, but it is not going to be easy for her despite the backing of Mr Modi.
*****

Not Azad
Before Delhi Congress leader and Union Minister for Urban Housing Mr Ajay Maken was selected by the party high command to AICCís communication department head, names of two of his cabinet colleagues Health Minister Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad and Railways Minister Mr C P Joshi were also actively considered.
The party insiders felt that Mr Azad fell short of the high commandís expectations due to the fact that he is a ĎZí plus security protectee and as it is known for his inaccessibility and lack of good communicative skills. Another factor that might have weighed heavily on the Congress leadershipís mind to keep him out of communication department is the fact that his home state J&K is slated to face Assembly elections in the near future. So keep him free as he is being viewed by many as a possible choice to be the Congressís chief ministerial candidate in case the party formed a government either with the present ally National Conference or the past one Peoples Democratic Party.
*****                      

Lastupdate on : Fri, 19 Jul 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 19 Jul 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 20 Jul 2013 00:00:00 IST




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