Claims on Kanhaiya
The Left and its sympathisers are all charged up with the Kanhaiya Kumar phenomenon. If the Opposition and the ruling dispensation are stunned into silence by the 29-year-old’s oratory, the Left leaders are no less surprised. Sitaram Yechury was the first to tweet on his “brilliant speech’’ shown on prime time across news channels, but quite surprisingly the breaking news that he may campaign for the Left in West Bengal emanated from Kerala. In Kolkata, the Left has not yet gone to town with Kanhaiya’s exploits. It seems, the CPI and CPI(M) cannot quite decide how to share his talents. The CPI(M) Bengal unit is apprehensive if Kanhaiya campaigns extensively, CPI may steal the thunder. The JNUite after all is a member of AISF, the student wing of CPI.
The Jat division
The Jat reservation agitation has divided both the BJP and the Congress in Haryana. The OBC lobby in the BJP has been putting pressure on the government to scuttle the Jat quota and have been coming in groups to Delhi to convince senior leaders and ministers. In the Congress, Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Deepender Hooda are playing their own tune. The party high command is rather cut up with the Hoodas joining a Jat-reservation dharna at Jantar Mantar, without permission. The fault-lines have widened after Ashok Tanwar, the Dalit PCC chief of Haryana, issued show-cause notice to Hooda’s close aide Virendra for his alleged role in the violent agitation. As a consequence, Deepender who used to be Rahul Gandhi’s shadow is not be seen anywhere near him.
In a Bind
The latest edition of the Raisina Dialogue, jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation, had its awkward moments. Not only did the former Chinese foreign minister Li Zhaoxing’s ‘Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai’ call get a rather lukewarm response from the audience, the description accorded to Taiwan led to the organisers issuing an apology. Taiwan’s Economic and Cultural Centre’s status was elevated to that of an embassy, though India is yet to recognise it as one. As a consequence, the dialogue booklet had a torn page the second day. The MEA officials washed their hands off and blamed ORF for the error.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi rarely acknowledges the presence of fellow parliamentarians while going past them in the lobbies of the House. It seems there are so many new faces, first-timers in the 16th Lok Sabha and he finds it difficult to remember who’s from which party. But of late, many of them were in for surprise when the PM not only stopped by to smile and shake hands, but also exchanged ‘kaise ho…’ (how are you) pleasantries.
Quick to pick the trend, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is now seeking ‘Azadi’ from the Lieutenant Governor’s interference and the Central Government’s apathy.