What’s cooking in Maharashtra? Even the chefs can’t tell. Even if they know something, they refuse to comment. And when they reveal, it’s hard to connect dots. For example, the bigwigs of BJP will tell you that it is an internal matter of Shiv Sena. Neither the spokespersons comment, nor other leaders. If it is an internal matter, then what is going on from Gujarat to Guwahati and Goa? A General Secretary of the party said that the BJP is concerned with only three ‘Gs’ i.e. Gujarat, Guwahati and Goa. It means that a prominent Gujarati of BJP snatched a leader of the opposition party in Guwahati and converted him into their own big shot, and the same thing was repeated in Goa too. Maharashtra’s connection to Goa and Gujarat is ‘G’ to ‘Ganesh’ only. Nobody knows when the ‘Sri Ganesh’ is going to happen.
What to do? What not to do?
Extending support is OK, but the real trouble is in opposition. And this ‘trouble’ has become a big ‘headache’ for Lalu Prasad Yadav. Lalu and Yashwant Sinha never gelled well together. There has been a rift between them from the time when Sinha was a top bureaucrat and Lalu was not yet well settled in politics. Everyone still remembers Yashwant Sinha’s personally offensive speech against Lalu Yadav in the Parliament. Now the point of trouble for Lalu is whether he should support Sinha in the name of opposition unity, or oppose him in the name of Draupadi Murmu? At least Yashwant Sinha would know the real answer to this puzzle.
Such a short lift…
Two of the Union ministers who were dropped from the Modi government are quite hopeful these days. For them this “Hope’ does not mean expectations of getting any key post in the organization or about becoming a governor. They just ‘Hope’ that they might get the privilege to hold a press conference during the party’s national executive to be held in Hyderabad/Bhagyanagar. This way, these two, who have stayed away from the limelight for a long time, will once again hit the headlines.
The Hyderabadi hospitality!
Another big speculation in the pipeline is that some big TRS leaders will join BJP during the it’s National Executive in Hyderabad. Earlier there were whispers about one or two people switching their loyalty, but now it is being heard that this number has swelled up to more than a dozen. It is also being speculated that they will be seated on the dais alongside PM Modi. However, the real news is that, there is a lot of discussion inside the TRS as to which of their leaders are in talks with the BJP leaders in order to join it.
We have been loyal to you too…
The investigation of the Gomti River Front construction scam that took place during the Akhilesh government is with the CBI. The Chief Secretary in that government was Alok Ranjan, who is still very close to Akhilesh even after being retired. He is also believed to have played a key role in drafting the manifesto of the Samajwadi Party. Now the CBI has sought permission from the state government to start investigation against two former chief secretaries Alok Ranjan and Deepak Singhal. Following this, the senior officers of the present government are sweating profusely after seeing the noose tightening around these two former chief secretaries.
The fine tuned Hamam Factor
A major reshuffle in UP’s bureaucracy is being awaited since the assembly elections in the state. Now more than 100 days of the government formation have passed, yet there has been no such a reshuffle in which the names of the officers in the Chief Minister’s Office are also part of discussion. Names of those bureaucrats who were helping SP in the elections as they foresaw a SP led government being formed, have also been investigated thoroughly. Meanwhile, many senior officers have also clashed among themselves, but due to the no-nonsense ‘mood’ of Chief Minister Yogi, they are not daring to lobby. So officers with more ‘finesse’ are involved in more ‘fine workmanship’. They are slowly leaking each other’s weaknesses and ‘activities related to them’ by preparing ‘files’. It is known to everyone that the ‘Hamam factor’ works too well in the bureaucracy of UP.
Bharat Agrawal is Executive Director, Dainik Bhaskar Group, and a columnist.
By special arrangement with Dainik Bhaskar and translated by Ram Lal Khanna from the original in Hindi.