The Yeddy Effect
BS YEDDYURAPPA’S new party, the Karantaka Janatha Paksha (KJP), is attracting an uncommonly high number of female aspirants as the 2013 state elections near. Yet this has also got Yeddyurappa into some trouble. The Lingayat strongman’s closeness to Shobha Karandlaje, former energy minister, is well known in political circles. Worried about being upstaged, Karandlaje, who happens to be a Vokkaliga, is apparently screening female party functionaries who want to meet the boss. She is being assisted in this endeavour by Bharathi Shetty, another Yeddyurappa confidante. Trouble began when film star Pooja Gandhi was inducted into the KJP by Yeddyurappa a day after she quit the JD(S). It sent alarm bells ringing.
The BJP is reasonably confident of the Delhi Assembly election in November, but worries about a suitable challenger to Sheila Dikshit. Vijay Goel and BJP state unit chief Vijendra Gupta are likely contenders. A new school of thought suggests promoting Ravishankar Prasad, a Bihari but long settled in the capital. The logic is 30 percent of Delhi’s people are Poorvanchalis, with origins in Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh.
India in Numbers
Companies Participating At Aero India 2013 in Bengaluru
352 Foreign Firms from 29 Nations
$35 Billion IAF’S Budget For 2012-22
Even after moving away from the home ministry, P Chidambaram was the government’s face and voice on the anti-rape ordinance. At the press meet, he was asked why, given his pressing schedule before the Budget, he had stood in for the home minister. Chidambaram replied he was there as chair of the GOM on media. However, a few days later, he was delivering the K Subrahmanyam Memorial Lecture on India’s National Security. Obviously, neither the lecture’s organisers nor the UPA government take Sushil Kumar Shinde seriously.
Kerala’s Party Wars
VS Achuthanandan needs to send PJ Kurien a thank-you note. The former Kerala CM was almost sacked from the CPM after disclosing he had been dropped from the Politburo for not clearing rival Pinarayi Vijayan of corruption charges. As the axe neared, the Supreme Court ruling in the Suryanelli rape case put the focus on Congress veteran Kurien. This diverted the CPM, with the party preferring not to draw attention to itself.
After the Cabinet meeting on 31 January, the press briefing was delayed from 1 pm to 3.30 pm. The reason was Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel was hosting a lunch for journalists. The Congress did him this courtesy because it hoped NCP leader Sharad Pawar would tell invited journalists he wouldn’t press for carving a Vidarbha state out of Maharashtra even if the UPA government created Telangana.