10 April 2017 National The Insider

Deep Throat

A regular column on the essential buzz
Deep Throat
Cartoon by R Prasad
Deep Throat
outlookindia.com
2017-04-01T11:00:37+0530

Low-Low Land

Lutyens’ Delhi is abuzz with talk of how a journalist embarrassed the media group she works for—one of India’s biggest. Believed to be close to a representative of a big corporate house, her coverage of the UP Assembly polls was noticed for its one-sidedness and lack of balance. Whispers about a land deal also started doing the rounds. Thanks to her ­reporting—predetermined and motivated in the central government’s eyes—not a single minister attended a prestigious event organised by the media group. Some heads are likely to roll in the organisation as an internal inquiry is believed to be on.

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Old Guard, New Overtures

With Gujarat being the next big state to go to polls, the BJP, having ruled the state for 19 years, is bound to face some anti-­incumbency. Fresh from its vict­ory in UP, the party doesn’t want to take chances. Sources say the BJP has reached out to former CM and PM Narendra Modi’s bête noire Keshubhai Patel, now 88. Modi met Keshubhai during his March 9 visit to Somnath temple, proposed his reappointment as chairman of the Shree Somnath Trust and also made it a point to talk about the contribution of the Patidar leader to Gujarat’s development. BJP president Amit Shah and senior leader L.K. Advani had met Keshubhai a day earlier. The buzz is that Keshubhai will help the BJP in Saurashtra and counter the Hardik Patel effect.


Leadership Hurdle

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Parties that were jolted by the BJP’s victory in UP are wondering what to do for the 2019 general election. The refrain in some non-Congress political circles in Delhi this week was that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) should be revitalised. There is also informal talk in the BSP, the grapevine tells us, that Mayawati should be made the convenor, if not the chairperson, and the Congress should play junior ally. Apparently, the Congress too wants to rejig the UPA. Post the UP results, Rahul Gandhi had a one-on-one meeting with NCP’s Sharad Pawar. But will the Congress give away its leadership role? 


Overheard Manipur’s Independent MLA Ashab Uddin, who had allegedly gone ‘missing’ from the Imphal airport, surfaced recently and was made parliamentary secretary by the BJP government.

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