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Dilli Gupshup: How the powers-that-be misread the protest

Last updated on: December 26, 2012 13:11 IST

Delhi rape: How the powers-that-be misread the protest

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Who's wooing Narendra Modi now?

Which post did Sheila Dikshit refuse?

What is Montek Singh Ahluwalia planning?

All this and more in this week's Dilli Gupshup.

The political establishment has been rattled by what happened at Raisina Hill on Sunday.

The sudden outburst of emotions and the ensuing use of force against those who were protesting the horrific gangrape committed on a 23-year-old student, has stunned the powers-that-be in New Delhi.

Apparently, top United Progressive Alliance leaders initially took the matter lightly. Only Union Minister of State for Home R P N Singh sensed the aam junta's outrage.

The Doon School-Stephenian had his ear to the ground and established direct contact with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi.

Later, even Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde was heard constantly consulting Singh.

Please click NEXT to find out who's wooing Narendra Modi now...


Image: Demonstrators confront police water cannons at Raisina Hill during a protest against the horrific gangrape of a student in New Delhi
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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Everyone's wooing Modi, even the BJP!

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With his recent victory in the Gujarat assembly election, Narendra Modi has proved not just his regional supremacy, he has also managed to shake the Bharatiya Janata Party establishment at the Centre.

Despite statements by senior BJP leaders that a win in the state does not mean automatic promotion to the Centre, a chain reaction is evident within Modi's party.

It is now an open secret that the next BJP chief will need Modi's blessings.

Senior BJP leaders like Rajnath Singh among others, are trying to gain the support of the Gujarat nu sher (the Lion of Gujarat).

Considering the pro-Modi mood in the party, even BJP Chief Ministers Shivraj Singh Chauhan (Madhya Pradesh) and Dr Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh), who were hoping to make their presence felt at the national level, have decided to wait for a more opportune moment.

Which of her decisions does Sonia Gandhi regret? Please click NEXT to find out...


Image: Narendra Modi: King or Kingmaker?
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters

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'Kaun jaye Dilli ki gallian chod ke...'

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Congress President Sonia Gandhi is believed to regret her move to appoint Sushil Kumar Shinde as India's home minister.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was keen on Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit replacing P Chidambaram as home minister.

But the wily Dikshit, who sensed Sonia's reluctance to okay the move, is said to have humorously refused the prime minister with this line, 'Kaun jaye Dilli ki gallian chod ke? (Who wants to leave the streets of Delhi?)..."

Please click NEXT to find out about Montek Singh Ahluwalia's future plans...


Image: Congress President Sonia Gandhi with Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde
Photographs: Ranjan Basu/Saab Press

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Montek's new plan of action

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As the Planning Commission's deputy chairman, Montek Singh Ahluwalia has the rank of a Cabinet minister.

Ahluwalia, who seems to be working hard to change his slightly arrogant image, recently offered to appear before a parliamentary panel.

Usually, the rare few civil servants in New Delhi who enjoy Cabinet rank refuse to appear before a panel that consists of Members of Parliament on grounds of protocol.

Does Montek want to improve his rapport with the political class?

Is Montek eyeing a bigger and better post?

Please click NEXT to find out about Delhi's search for a new lieutenant governor...


Image: Is Montek Singh Ahluwalia on the lookout for a bigger and better post?
Photographs: Jay Mandal/On Assignment

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Who will head Delhi next?

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A search is on for a new lieutenant governor for Delhi.

The post is ceremonial -- though the lieutenant governor is the notional head of the Delhi administration, it is the chief minister who heads the government and who is vested with most of the executive powers.

Lieutenant governors, who head Union territories, have the same rank as the governor of a state. Like the President, they hold their post for five years.

Though Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna's term ended on April 8, he is taking care of the post in the absence of a successor.

According to the grapevine, several Congress leaders, retired bureaucrats and social activists are lobbying to replace Khanna who had to return from a holiday in the US after the Raisina Hill protests.


Image: Who will replace Tejendra Khanna, right, as Delhi's lieutenant governor?
Photographs: Courtesy lgdelhi.nic.in

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