Rekha’s Large-Heartedness In the bygone Lok Sabha elections, 15 Gurudwara Rakabganj Road was the centre of all the political machinations discussed by the Congress Party. Chief Strategist, Jairam Ramesh, had turned this bungalow allotted to MP R K Bhaskar into an American style ‘War Room’. True to its character, the walls were adorned with large maps of various states as well as those indicating Lok Sabha constituencies of India. When the elections were over, and the party lost it big time; the bungalow and its walls were promptly forgotten. But lately, new strategist Prashant Kishore has taken over the place and has started to organize brainstorming sessions. It later came to their knowledge that the bungalow has been allotted to actress Rekha Ganeshan. Naturally, the Congress Party was perturbed. It had already spent a handsome amount of money on the logistics there. Congress approached the actress and asked her to let them use the bungalow. They were surprised that the actress complied without even the barest of tantrum. Needless to say, her stature in the eyes of Congress members has substantially increased.
Shah Idolises Mrs. Gandhi A reputed private news channel did a live interview of Amit Shah lately. It turned out that Shah had a grip on the subjects he was discussing and that it was the anchor who turned out as the one lacking in bite and content. Nevertheless, some of Shah’s friends too watched the program and were actually perturbed that Shah came out as an undemocratic personality win his answers. At times, Shah presumably spoke words that reminded some of Indira Gandhi. It later turned out that the resemblance was not coincidental. Shah is a big admirer of Indira Gandhi and is of the belief that a party can’t be run through democratic guidelines and that a leader needs to show his undemocratic streak once in a while. Surprisingly, there are others in the party too who believe that if Shah loosens his iron-grip over the party, the scene would not be pleasant.
Blue-eyed Boy Just as Shanawaz Hussain was a blue-eyed boy of Vajpayee, Minister Mahesh Sharma is the blue-eyed boy of the current prime minister. Owner of a big hospital in Noida, Sharma is an otherwise busy man. But he still makes time every second and fourth Saturdays of the month to visit the PM’s constituency, Varanasi, and take stock of work done. While a lot of work has been done by his ministry, he also coordinates with the other ministries and gives the report to the PM. Lately, he has been promoting the Start-Up India program in Noida, keeping his eyes firmly on the upcoming assembly polls. Not only this, he also managed to take the PM on a visit to Noida, twice, a town that otherwise has the reputation of being jinxed for the political class. However, he has started involving himself in the affairs of other ministries too, miffing other ministers.
Patnaik’s Professionalism There’s a laid out protocol of how the Prime Minister entertains visiting Chief Ministers. Normally, such meetings are short. They usually start with pleasantries and end with photo-ops. But Odisha’s CM Naveen Patnaik is an exception. The PM has taken a liking for his style of functioning and is making exceptions for him. Not only does Patnaik come with full preparations, he also explains his demands rather professionally, without the help of bureaucrats. The PM apparently likes this style and has been repeatedly seen asking bureaucrats about the progress on the CM’s requests. Insiders say that this closeness is not surprising, as the PM too functions like Patnaik.