Hours after Arvind Kejriwal took oath as Chief Minister of Delhi on Saturday, BJP president Rajnath Singh refused to field queries about him or the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) saying with a cryptic smile, “Aaj nahin, aaj ke din unko shubhkamna dene ke siva kuchha nahin bolunga (not today...I will not say anything other than wishing him well).” Former BJP president Nitin Gadkari was not so charitable though as he came out with an industrialist-mediated Congress-AAP machination theory to target Kejriwal. Knowing Rajnath Singh, Kejriwal had rather take his ‘shubhkamna’ with a pinch of salt, for the BJP’s hope of making a comeback in Delhi hinges on Kejriwal government’s failure to deliver on the AAP’s promises.
The ruling Congress is split over the Centre’s decision to institute a commission of inquiry to probe the so-called Gujarat snoopgate. Chief Minister of a Congress-ruled north Indian state let his displeasure known to his party colleagues during lunch break at the party chief ministers’ meeting last Friday. Asserting that the Congress needs to strongly counter Narendra Modi and take him head on, the CM lamented the Centre’s decision to set up a commission ostensibly to target the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate. He was of the view that it might boomerang and end up rather strengthening Modi. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde who, as usual, has taken credit for the idea of setting up the commission, was also quite confident at the meeting, notwithstanding senior leaders’ barbs at Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan for rejecting Adarsh Commission report that indicted Shinde. A visibly happy and confident Home Minister, in fact, complimented Rahul Gandhi for convening the CMs’ meeting and exhorted him to make it a regular exercise.
CLUELESS IN UP
As young Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav flounders every step of the way, Bahujan Samaj Party leaders are having fun at his expense. A senior BSP leader recounted how a businessman, whose ‘work’ had got stalled due to change of regime in UP, was advised to approach the young CM. Akhilesh reportedly assured him that he would clear the file “agar aap neeche se clear karwa kar le aayie (if you get it cleared from lower levels)”. The businessman acted accordingly and when the file reached the CMO, he approached Akhilesh again. The young CM said genially, “You know I have no problem in clearing it but ek baar upar se clear karwa lijiye (but get