Nora Chopra

Congress President Sonia Gandhi is most likely to  get one more extension. The Congress Working Committee is working on the matter. This will be the second extension given to the longest serving Congress President. Last year on September 8, the CWC had granted Sonia one year’s  extension organisational elections had to be completed.  She i is already the longest serving president ;  she took over the reins of the party in 1998. On the face of it, this extension is considered necessary by the party high command ecause Rahul Gandhi, the prospective claimant to the Congress throne, is busy with elections in five states. But if the buzz is to be believed, the Congress leadership is watching the performance of Rahul. If he fails to deliver, the Congress leadership may then have to rethink.


The Congress strategist Prashant Kishor seems to be out. He has started looking for fresh pastures. In a recent development, PK met Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav . Mulayam is quite apprehensive of his prospects in the aftermath of the Mahabharat in his family. PK too is quite wary of the Congress. He is no more part of the Congress strategy sessions. In the last strategy session conducted by Priyanka Gandhi, the PCC leaders were quite relieved to see that PK was not there.  The leadership in Lucknow was not very happy to have a non-political strategist. Whisper campaign was  launched against PK. The general opinion was that how can a technical man strategise the political campaign of the country’s oldest political party. PK himself was also not very happy. He was heard saying that when he was working for Narendra Modi and even Nitish Kumar, he was given full freedom but in Congress, he has to actually struggle and face so many leaders.


Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna, one of the most secular leaders in the country who bitterly opposed the BJP and refrained from joining the BJP even in his worst days when the Congress deserted him. But, his daughter Rita Bahuguna Joshi joined the BJP recently. Rita, who was the former PCC chief might be the BJP face in Uttar Pradesh Assembly poll. She joined the saffron party after a great deal of bargaining, as a result the BJP is supposed to have agreed to project her as the CM candidate to counter Sheila Dixit, the ageing Brahmin face of the Congress. Her first priority was still the Samajwadi Party till of course the parivar Mahabharat broke out. She had come from the SP and wanted to return but the SP was not willing to give her the Lucknow Cantonment seat which she is representing as Mulayam Singh’s second bahu will  contest from that seat. Further, the Mahabharat in the SP also contributed to her decision to join the BJP. She was extremely upset with the Congress leadership for projecting Sheila Dixit as their CM candidate because of her Brahmin identity. She was even more unhappy over the extra projection of Pramod Tiwari who has been her bete noire in Allahabad politics. BJP came naturally as a choice for her as her brother Vijay Bahuguna was already there and the BJP had no CM face.


Navjot Sidhu, who was being touted as the star of Punjab, has now reduced himself into nobody. He is haggling right left and centre but nobody seems to be interested in him anymore. While he was bargaining with Aam Aadmi Party, he was trying to draw the attention of the Congress. Then he rejected the AAP offer and floated his own outfit. Soon he started lobbying with the Congress. He met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the Vice-President Raul Gandhi, but Amrinder Singh did not want him.  Now he is back to talks with AAP. Kejriwal  is reportedly willing  to have offered him the post of a deputy CM. (IPA Service)

Sunday, 6 November, 2016