View from Delhi

What has been happening in the corridors of power this week.

Published: 19th February 2017 04:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th February 2017 04:01 AM   |  A+A-

Irom Sharmila (File | PTI)

Express News Service

Now Chinnamma’s Didi too

Didi has had the political map of India divided into ‘friendly’ and ‘non-friendly’ states. Tamil Nadu under AIADMK rule was deemed 'friendly'. Apparently, Mamata Banerjee’s many phone conversations with.Jayalalithaa before her hospitalisation and subsequent death fostered steadfast loyalty, which has now been transferred to AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala. ''Our Didi is now Chinnamma's Didi,'' one Trinamool Congress MP said. Banerjee, in fact, got Derek O'Brien issue statements in favour of Sasikala and Edappadi Palanisamy, at the risk of offending her ally, the Congress.  O'Brien himself had to forget about his friendship with fellow Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi of the DMK 'to do the needful.

From friend to friend

The stars of poll strategist Prashant Kishor, PK to most, are shining bright again. After crafting successful electoral victories for Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar, he took up Rahul Gandhi's account six months ago.It was Priyanka Gandhi who re-introduced the two, and the Congress poll account of Punjab and UP fell into PK’s bag. Now, Rahul in turn has introduced the strategist to his new ally, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav. Last heard, PK has been flying around with the UP CM on his campaign copter.

Funding Arnab’s Republic

Former Times Now star anchor Arnab Goswami, who's expected to roll out his own news channel on August 15, was photographed having dinner with Assam politician Hemanta Biswa Sarma while vacationing in Cambodia. This led to speculation that Sarma may be picking up stake in Goswami's TV venture. There had anyway been talk that Goswami may be facing some last-minute funding crisis. Why else would he be visiting the Zee baron, who's looking for a person to head his 'global' English news channel WION. 

Irom’s lonely battle

Activist-turned-newbie-politician Irom Sharmila is having a hard time in her debut foray into Manipur's quagmirish electoral politics. Neither she nor the other candidates of her fledgling People's Resurgence and Justice Alliance has much campaign funding. The reason why she blurted out that the BJP had offered her crores to take on defending Congress CM Okram Ibobi Singh is because the money promised to her and her 'foreigner' husband by 'intelligence' operatives never reached her. As a result, it is a lonely battle and she's only just about in the fray against Ibobi Singh.

Mehbooba to Mecca

Since her state is in perpetual crisis, Mehbooba Mufti is going on a pilgrimage to Mecca. But while Mehbooba, often accused of being an 'invisible' CM, remained busy planning her spiritual trip, her former PDP MP Tariq Kara has joined the Congress in Sonia Gandhi's presence. And of all people NC chief Omar Abdullah congratulated Kara for joining the grand old party!

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