Delhi Diary


Scindia Leads
The much needed victory in Karnataka has given the UPA and particularly the Congress a much needed boost as it has been constantly facing flak from the BJP and other opposition parties for series of scandals.
Do not be amused, the Congress is now working on strategies to unseat the BJP from the Hindi heartland of Madhya Pradesh which alongwith Delhi, Chattisgarh and Rajasthan will face Assembly elections in six months.
Once a Congress stronghold, Madhya Pradesh has become BJP’s citadel. In order to breach this citadel, Congress high command is toying with the idea of projecting the youthful and princely Union Minister Mr Jyotiraditya Scindia not as the chief ministerial candidate but as the party’s leader. The obvious goal will be to enthrone him as the Chief Minister in the event of party winning a majority.
If the Congress insiders are to be believed, Mr Scindia is quite reluctant to accept the idea of shifting from national politics, where he feels he has bright future, to the narrow confines of the state where he will have to juggle with a battery of senior leaders and scores of groups.
But, for Congress the options are very few as they have no other leader with a clean and youthful image as Mr Scindia. Recently, AICC General Secretary Mr Digvijay Singh, a former MP CM, and Union Urban Development Minister Mr Kamal Nath met Mr Scindia to convince him to accept the challenge. But without any success.
Mr Scindia is being convinced that he will be made in charge of a high profile poll related committee in the state and will spearhead the campaign. It will be only if the party won a majority that he will be nominated to the CM’s post. This will ensure that his ministerial berth at the Centre remains intact.
The last word is still to be heard on this front as there is still sometime left for the elections.
Bansal’s Fate
There may be another shock in store for the former Railway Minister Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal who had to quit in the face of serious corruption charges. He may now run the danger of losing his claim on his Lok Sabha constituency Chandigarh.
There is a growing feeling in the Congress that he should not be fielded in the election as it will give another opportunity to BJP to lambast the Congress and the UPA Government. Bad news for Mr Bansal is good news for others eyeing this seat.
Traditionally a Congress stronghold, the capital city has become the cynosure of many party leaders who are looking for a safe seat. The jury will be out soon, if not Mr Bansal then who?
As of now, three names of senior Congress leader have started doing the rounds. These are Law Minister Mr Kapil Sibal, Ms Ambika Soni and Information and Broadcasting Minister Mr Manish Tewari. Another senior contender will be Haryana Congressman Mr Venod Sharma who is also known for his money bags.
Advani Knows
Who was the target of veteran BJP leader Mr L K Advani when he twitted and blamed the party leadership for “condoning his picadilloes” and ensuring the party’s defeat in Karnataka. The obvious reference was to Mr B S Yeddyurappa. But he did not explain as to who among the party leaders were to be blamed for condoning the former Chief Minister’s acts of omission and commission.
He seems to have dropped a clear hint and his target ostensibly was former BJP chief Mr Nitin Gadkari. Many in the party had blamed Mr Gadkari for giving a long rope to Mr Yeddyurappa.
Mr Advani’s discomfiture is understandable. Instead of keeping Mr Gadkari away from Karnataka affairs, the present dispensation under Mr Rajnath Singh has given him the responsibility to oversee the election of the BJP’s legislature party leader.
Strange are the ways in politics. And who else but Mr Advani knows it better.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 17 May 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 17 May 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 18 May 2013 00:00:00 IST

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