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  Opinion   Oped  15 Dec 2019  CAB volte-face by two notables

CAB volte-face by two notables

Published : Dec 15, 2019, 12:44 am IST
Updated : Dec 15, 2019, 12:44 am IST

Akhilesh Yadav’s presence in the Lok Sabha on the day the CAB was tabled surprised many in his own party.

Jyotiraditya Scindia (Photo: AFP)
 Jyotiraditya Scindia (Photo: AFP)

An indiscretion, a failed pitch
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill has caught many on the wrong foot. On social media platform Twitter, two media-savvy personalities, Jyotiraditya Scindia of the Congress Party and Prashant Kishore of the Janata Dal (United), had to change stance, though in differing ways. Mr Scindia in Indore was quoted as saying that the Bill conformed to India’s culture, values and traditions, and that CAB was in line with vasudhaiva kutumbakam. When he heard that the Congress high command frowned upon this, Scindia tweeted his opposition to CAB.

In Prashant Kishor aka P.K.’s case, it turned out to be bravado. The JD(U) vice president initially tried to make the party oppose CAB in Parliament, calling up several party bigwigs and pleading with them to take an anti-CAB stand. P.K. failed even as Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar reportedly refused to take his calls. The ace political strategist then went public, opposing CAB on Twitter.

There is a school of thought that views Mr Scindia and P.K.’s “indiscretions” differently. Both are vying for the April 2020 Rajya Sabha berths. While Mr Scindia is a contender from his home state of Madhya Pradesh, P.K. is angling for a seat from either Bihar or Bengal. P.K. is offering political strategy consultancy to Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamul Congress.

Vacancies for Hindi typists
Hindi has become the true flavour of Raisina Hill. In the Union home ministry manned by Amit Shah, stenographers who are fluent in Hindi are in huge demand, as notes, circulars, advisories and papers have to be written in Hindi that make correct sense to their political masters. English-speaking babus and wordsmiths want credible stenographers and typists to convey orders and directives in the most appropriate and objective manner. Last heard, dozens of Hindi stenographers were getting drafted into North Block.

Absenteeism by Akhilesh
Akhilesh Yadav’s presence in the Lok Sabha on the day the CAB was tabled surprised many in his own party. It was only the second instance that the Samajwadi Party scion made it to Parliament during the winter session. He first came on November 19, a day after the session began, to merely sign the attendance register. He didn’t attend the House proceedings. While his wheelchair-bound father Mulayam

Singh Yadav is regular, greeting everyone with smiles and folded hands as he is wheeled around the Parliament corridors, most SP MPs and ex-MPs are disillusioned with Akhilesh’s sporadic leadership.

Snooping on the enemy
Jairam Ramesh recently lost his mobile phone inside Parliament. A frantic search followed. CCTV footage showed Jairam sitting with Union minister of state for external affairs and parliamentary affairs, V. Muralidharan. The Watch and Ward staff of Parliament found a phone on “silent mode”. It was handed over to the BJP’s Parshottam Rupala. When Jairam approached him, Mr Rupala quickly handed the phone back to the owner, but not before making a comment about a WhatsApp message relating to Maharashtra. Were Jairam’s WhatsApp messages read? There’s no messaging answer to that.

Manmohan over Rahul
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath has completed a year in office and decided to hold press meets in Delhi and Bhopal. For the national capital, he chose the Indian Women Press Corps (IWPC), offering its members a sumptuous meal and an off-the-record conversation. In Bhopal, Dr Manmohan Singh has been invited on December 17 to showcase the Nath government's achievements in its first year of office. Mr Nath’s choice of Manmohan instead of Rahul Gandhi has not gone unnoticed in the Delhi durbar of the Congress.

The writer is a keen observer of the goings-on in backrooms of power

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