The Lodha Commission report on how to clean up India’s cricket administration has created a lot of heartburn among BCCI czars, especially the politico types. Not surprisingly, their days of dominance may end. But state-level cricket associations are none too happy. Maharashtra, which has three associations and has produced top-notch cricketers, will now be at par with the north-eastern states that have never produced a single cricketer nor have any cricket association. Apart from Tripura, which has it own cricket body, the rest are all affiliates of Assam. Worse still, as per Lodha’s egalitarian approach, all states (associations) will have one vote each. So even if Vidarbha survives, it will have no voting rights.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu’s recent US visit to attract FDI in rail projects became a nightmare of sorts. The PMO approved his trip at the last moment, and he also was asked to cancel the UK leg of his programme. No London stopover, was the instruction. The minister was back in Delhi in just three days.
Even her detractors are taken aback by HRD minister Smriti Irani’s startling success in BJP’s youth connect programme. What the Sangh could not do for decades, Irani has done in her short stint as minister. She helped create an atmosphere where ABVP became a force in the Central University campuses. Ridding higher education of Left-Congress influence is high on RSS-PM-Amit Shah’s agenda. And, Irani is delivering.
Appa Not Alone
Every time there’s talk of a Union Cabinet reshuffle, Najma Heptulla’s name is in circulation. She invariably tops the list of those to be shifted to Raj Bhavan. The minority affairs minister started reading the Gita and Hanuman Chalisa every morning to ward off such rumours. She’s even changed her sartorial style: funky jewellery has replaced diamonds. Still, members of the BJP-power coterie laugh: Najma appa, no use. But this time, she’s not the only one of a certain age bracket on the exit list. Another key minister from a southern state may be heading towards Tamil Nadu, in place of K Rosaiah. And the Union agriculture minister too is not be sure where he will land.
The law and order downslide in Bihar is not just worrying for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, it has put the Congress high command in deep thought. So much so that a top Congress leader quipped, “Lalu Yadav will be difficult to endure, Nitish won’t be able to do anything and Congress will not be able to say anything.”