Standing at Attention
The high drama around the National Herald case in the Patiala House court had the Congress party on its toes, quite literally. Inside the courtroom, the old party top brass from ex-PM Manmohan Singh to ex-Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and ageing CWC members A K Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge and Ahmed Patel had to keep standing. That’s not counting the “accused” in the case, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes and Suman Dubey. When their counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi pointed out that it may be difficult for 87-year-old Vora to be up on his feet all the while, Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen asked everyone to take a seat. Since the Gandhis preferred not to sit down, the rest had no option but follow suit.
Looking for an Editor
Amidst all the kerfuffle over National Herald, Congress treasurer Motilal Vora has been quietly shortlisting names for a hands-on editor who will be able to attract a “bright” team for the publication. It seems he will firm up the plan in a week, provided there’s no legal hurdle. Vora would have divulged a little more of the plan, but Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel reminded him that “the matter is subjudice”.
Key bureaucrat in the PMO, Jawed Ashraf from the Foreign Services, is expected to be leave for Singapore as the next ambassador, early or mid next year. A bright but low-key officer who is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign policy crack-team, brushes aside talk about his departure. He would rather have the focus on the gains India made during the recent Climate talks in Paris, than himself or any other bureaucrat.
Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala’s alleged bombshell letter against Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has been denied by the former as “forged”. Nonetheless, many in the media have an ‘operative’ proportion of the letter purportedly sent to Sonia Gandhi. Despite denial, the matter is being investigated into who leaked it. The name of one Delhi-based Congressman from Kerala is doing the rounds.