Delhi Confidential: Consensus Candidate?

Krishna Byre Gowda

After a brief lull, factional feuds seem to be back in the Congress, especially in Karnataka and Punjab. While the Amarinder Singh-Partap Singh Bajwa tug of war is getting serious in Punjab, the tussle in Karnataka Congress is over appointment of a new state Congress president. Former chief minister Siddaramaiah is in Delhi and had a meeting with party chief Sonia Gandhi. He is seen as desperate to scuttle moves to appoint D K Shivakumar as the state unit chief and is learnt to be pitching for senior leader M B Patil. A section of the high command wants to give the reins of the state unit to Shivakumar. Some leaders say there could be a twist in the form of a third name. And they believe the affable Krishna Byre Gowda could emerge as a consensus choice in the Siddaramaiah-Shivakumar war.

Voting On Duty

The Election Commission introduced a new facility during Jharkhand Assembly polls, allowing people above the age of 80 years to vote through postal ballots. For the Delhi Assembly elections, the poll panel has added more categories of voters who can avail the “absentee voter” facility. This category is made up of voters who cannot cast their vote because they are on official duty on the polling day. For Delhi elections, people employed with Delhi Metro, Northern Railway Transportation and mediapersons covering elections can cast their votes through postal ballots on February 8.

Looking For Luck

After BJP general secretary Arun Singh changed his seating arrangements in his office in the party headquarters, party colleague Anil Jain has now followed suit. Jain has also rearranged his table to face the window, so that he can be seated with the wall to his back. The doctor-turned-politician says according to vaastu, one should be seated facing the north, east or north-east direction, as that is considered auspicious. In the usual arrangement in office rooms on the third floor of BJP headquarters, where party general secretaries are seated, the chairs faced south. Whispers in the corridors of the party office are about how Singh got nominated for Rajya Sabha seat after the changes, and Jain is now looking forward to some good news on his position in the organisation.