BOOK LAUNCH TURNED INTO FORUM FOR PRAISING CHANDRA SHEKHAR
Chandra Shekhar was prime minister for a few months but he could have done much better if he had stayed, said Yashwant Sinha the finance minister in the Chandra Shekhar government in 1991. It was a book launch with a difference. Sanjaya Baru’s book on PV Narasimha Rao was launched in the seminar hall of the India International Centre on Tuesday evening by three prominent persons : two former finance ministers -- P. Chidambaram and Yashwant Sinha and former CabinetSecretary Naresh Chandra. But the most amusing part of the launch was that none of the speakers spoke about Narasimha Rao. While Yashwant Sinha and Naresh Chandra spoke on Chandra Shekhar, P. Chidambram like a true congressman spoke to demolish Baru’s book. He pointed out the mistakes in Baru’s book saying that Baru was wrong when he said that Chandra Shekhar was from Bihar. No, he said he was from Baliya in UP. It was left to Baru to speak about PV, the hero of his book. Both Sinha -- who was Chandra Shekhar’s finance minister -- and Naresh Chandra heaped praises on Chandra Shekhar. Sinha went on to say that it was because of his credibility he created fear psychosis within the Congress which withdrew support on such a frivolous issue of two Haryana constables keeping a watch on Rajiv Gandhi’s house.
UP CONGRESS LACKS CREDIBLE MUSLIM LEADER
The Congress is out to woo the brahmins in Uttar Pradesh but even if they succeed in getting all the eight per cent brahmin votes, that will not be enough for the Congress to make even a marginal difference. To improve their prospects, they need the muslim votes also. But the Congress does not have a single muslim face who is capable of getting votes for the party. While Ghulam Nabi Azad does not belong to UP, there is no one else with experience and credibility. All the others despite good intentions are a younger lot. For example, Fazle Masood maybe having some credibility but does not have a pan UP image. He belongs to east UP. The only muslim face of UP who has a pan India image and commands respect in all sections of society including the majority community, is Mohsina Kidwai. But, Mohsina Kidwai is being kept out of the campaign.
PRADEEP MATHUR GETS FLAK FOR POOR ATTENDANCE AT MEETING
Pramod Tiwari, A brahmin From Pratapgarh in east Uttar Pradesh is doing exactly what he is known best for -- self promotion and cutting others. Pramod, best known as hanger on to senior leaders, created problems for CLP leader Pradeep Mathur, when the Congress contingent comprising Ghulam Nabi Azad and others under the leadership of Pramod Tiwari reached Mathura, Mathur’s home town and political constituency, after midnight only to find about a hundred or less people to hear the Congress leaders. Poor Mathur was the butt of the anger of Azad. Mathur was later heard complaining that no body waits to hear anyone after midnight particularly if Rahul Gandhi is not there. (IPA)