Delhi Confidential: Prime Position

BJP president JP Nadda

After J P Nadda took over as BJP president, the party has followed several measures to reflect the change in optics. Nadda’s photo has replaced Amit Shah’s in party posters, banners, on the cover of the party manifesto for Delhi Assembly polls, and even on the banner placed at the backdrop of the hall where press conferences are held at party headquarters. The banner now has Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nadda on one side and Deendayal Upadhyay and Syama Prasad Mookerjee on the other. However, at the function held in Ranchi on the occasion of former Jharkhand CM Babulal Marandi’s JVM(P) merging with the BJP, it was Shah who presided over the meeting. Although it was considered a politically significant move, Nadda was not present. Party leaders say the decision on merger was finalised during Shah’s term as party chief.

In Driver’s Seat

Lok Sabha member Ramya Haridas has finally bought a car. The Congress MP from Alathur, Kerala, had found herself in the middle of a controversy after Youth Congress workers in her constituency collected money from party members to buy her a car. Kerala Congress president Mullappally Ramachandran was annoyed when he got to know about the fund collection and asked party members to stop the drive immediately and return money to the people. Now, Ramya has bought a Toyota Innova car by taking a loan.

Critic In Chief

At a book release event that had RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat as keynote speaker and Minister of State V K Singh in attendance, among other BJP functionaries, the chief guest, constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap, put the dignitaries in a spot by severely criticising the government, comparing current-day politicians with the Mughals. Kashyap said that today’s India is not the India of Mahatma Gandhi’s imagination. Kashyap even said that the opulence of modern-day politicians is no less than that of the Mughals and criticised the government’s plan to build a ‘new New Delhi’ — he said it would only widen the chasm between Parliament and the poor. “A swachchhata abhiyan (cleanliness drive) has been started in the country. It is very good. But when will this take place in politics,” he asked.