Insider - out

By Santwana Bhattacharya| Published: 09th September 2018 04:00 AM

Pranab turns teacher

One of his predecessors, APJ Abdul Kalam, made a career out of the post-presidency lecture tour; Pranab Mukherjee is just about beginning. The former President has taken up a threemonth teaching assignment in the IIM-A, from this month onwards. The area on which Mukherjee will be sharing his expertise with the management students is policy planning. That’s seems to be right up his street.

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Vice President Venkaiah Naidu just completed one year in office with the release of a coffee-table book on his life as VP. The PM unveiled the edition in a packed Vigyan Bhawan in the presence of the entire political galaxy, ex-PM Manmohan Singh included. Talking about the next president may be too early. In the new annexe that’s come up inside the sprawling vice presidential residence, there is a photo gallery of all the previouz VPs.

What does it reveal: VPs became presidents in batches of three. Like the first VP, S Radhakrishnan, Zakir Husain and VV Giri went on to became President of India. The next three—GS Pathak, BD Jatti, Mohammad Hidayatullah—failed to make it to Rashtrapati Bhawan. Curiously, this quirky pattern continues. With Hamid Ansari, a batch of three is over. Hence Naidu stands a fair chance of elevation. Does it also hold a prediction for 2019?

Correction of blunder?

It’s raining book releases in Luytens Delhi. Whoever is anyone to reckon with has written a look back account or two. Well, these occasions, if the person is prominent enough, create headlines, on the book and the panel discussions thereof.

The most interesting, however, was what transpired at Kapil Sibal’s book release. Erstwhile BJPman who recently joined TMC, Chandan Mitra put forth, “a regional” satrap stands a fair chance of claiming the PM’s chair in 2019, obviously implying his new leader Mamata Banerjee. To which Sitaram Yechury quipped: “Oh, you mean (we should) correct a historic blunder”. The CPM was accused of committing one for not supporting a Bengali for the PM’s post!

Kailash Yatra

Those who were of the view that Rahul Gandhi made a blunder by going on the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in the midst of election season, can think twice. It’s a very well thought out message from the Gandhi family to the silent masses, who were entertaining doubts about the spiritual/religious leanings of the family. Even the release of the photographs was in a manner to catch maximum eyeballs. Hence Rahul’s self-portraits and group photos were put out last. Nature and Kailash took precedence.

Santwana Bhattacharya

The author is Political Editor,

TNIE. Email: santwana@newindianexpress.com

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