By Nora Chopra



Feroze Varun Gandhi, the youngest member of the Nehru Gandhi clan, is the real inheritor of Jawaharlal Nehru’s literary legacy. This is what his aunt and the Congress president Sonia Gandhi said when she called the young poet to congratulate him after his latest book of poetry Stillness hit the market. Sonia is supposed to have even written a letter to Varun praising his literary achievements. She, in her letter, has reportedly said that he was the only member in the family who has inherited his great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru’s literary legacy. The family is proud of him. Congress sources claim that Sonia is very happy over the success of Feroze Varun’s book and has been heard praising him at all quarters.


The war between Narendra Modi-Amit Shah and their bête noire Sanjay Joshi has accelerated once again. The celebrations of Joshi’s birthday by his supporters in Delhi and the demand for his rehabilitation by his fans echoing all over Uttar Pradesh have left Shah and Modi so jittery that they have forcibly evicted him from his North Avenue accommodation in Delhi. Joshi, a Sangh Pracharak, was staying in a guest accommodation in 34 North Avenue, but had to vacate it because the Modi government cancelled his guest accommodation, plus his host MP was summoned by Shah and threatened. Amit Shah has issued an unwritten fatwah in the BJP that they should keep their distance from Sanjay Joshi or be ready to face the wrath of the party bosses and the PM. But these threats have failed to work on Joshi supporters and though Joshi no more lives in 34 North Avenue, he to the consternation of a helpless Shah still meets his supporters exactly at six in the morning as before in North Avenue in front of 45 North Avenue where he holds his shakha every day.


Ahmad Patel is indispensable. Patel, who has been on the target list of the media more than of Rahul Gandhi, may finally not be shown the door. But he is so upset with the media that is abuzz with the news of his being sidelined and his powers being seized that he is these days frequently heard telling people who drop in to see him: “I am ready to go. I have had my innings. It is time for someone else to take over. I have given my entire life my youth to the pry. But I owe a lot to the party. Mrs Indira Gandhi picked me up from a small remote village of Gujarat. She made me Youth Congress president, PCC president. Then I was her joint secretary. Then Rajiv’ji made me his parliamentary secretary. Kesriji (Sitaram Kesri) made me the treasurer of the party and now Soniaji made me her political secretary. Now if I am asked to go I will have no regrets. Party has given me enough.” When asked what will he do, he has a ready answer. “I will go back to Gujarat and look after my trusts. I will do whatever I can for the party from there. In all these years I have had no time for my family. I will spend time with my family.” But Congress sources say the party cannot do without Ahmad Bhai. He is the only interlocutor with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Patel should be given the credit for the silence maintained by the government on Rahul’s whereabouts.


The Narendra Modi government will complete one year in office this month on 26th May but it has failed to even fill the two vacancies of the Anglo-Indian quota in Lok Sabha. Pressure has mounted from within the Anglo-Indian community on PM Narendra Modi to fill the vacancies as fast as possible. The nomination of these two MPs of the Anglo-Indian community makes it mandatory by the article 331 and 333 of the constitution on any new government that assumes power. In December last year, Charles Dias, the president of the Federation of Anglo Indian Association of India who was also a nominated MP in the Manmohan Singh’s UPA-2 has written a letter to PM Modi seeking his intervention on the issue, and urging him to ‘take the necessary steps to effect the nomination of the two Anglo-Indian members as per the Article 331 of the Constitution. Charles Dias as also given a panel of names to the PM. In the panel of names given to the PM is the name of a Tamil Nadu based social activist Diana Grace Thomas. Diana has the support of the Archbishop of Gandhinagar Stanislaus Fernandes, the Archbishop of Bhopal ldo Cornelo and Archbishop of Mumbai Oswald Cardinal Gracias have also supported Diana’s candidature.


The Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal called up the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee to congratulate her on her victory in the West Bengal municipal elections last week. Kejriwal even told Mamata that he would soon go to Kolkata and meet her to seek her guidance. Kejriwal and Mamata have been in touch with each other ever since Kejriwal won the Delhi elections. Kejriwal also wants to thank Mamata for the support she had extended to him during the assembly election in Delhi. In fact, the two are planning to join hands with each other for the next Lok Sabha elections of 2019 and also for the 2016 West Bengal assembly polls. Kejriwal in his bid to register his presence and expand his base, is keen to strike alliances at the state level. In Uttar Pradesh, he is in touch with Mayawati. People were quite surprised to see Kejriwal touch feet of Mayawati’s mother in public outside some temple in Delhi. (IPA)

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