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Rediff.com  » News » Dilli Gupshup: Narendra Modi: Mere paas youth hai!

Dilli Gupshup: Narendra Modi: Mere paas youth hai!

Last updated on: February 12, 2013 18:32 IST

Narendra Modi: Mere paas youth hai!

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Why is Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram worried?

Who has the sharpest eye in the Congress?

How is the Union law minister tackling the turmoil in his ministry?

Catch up on all the gossip from Delhi, in this week's Dilli Gupshup.

The man may not say it himself, but it is increasingly clear that the chief minister of Gujarat has national aspirations.

Canny political animal that he is, Narendra Modi knows the way to the national capital is though the hearts and minds of the youth.

After a super-successful session at Delhi University -- the enthusiasm of the students, many of whom will be first-time voters in the forthcoming elections, was unmistakable -- Modi is looking forward to a similar session at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in March.

The fact that Modi's particular brand of charisma holds such appeal to the youth has two of India's biggest political parties worried.

The Congress clearly has cause for concern -- they can only counter Modi with a Rahul Gandhi, who is not as flamboyant as the Gujarat leader.

As for the Bharatiya Janata Party, there are many there who would be happy to see Modi remain a big fish in a small pond; they know that, once he has a national role, he will be much more difficult to counter.

The Modi juggernaut, however, moves on. The self-styled Gujarat nu sher will contest in the next national election and, with these preparatory steps, his think-tank is honing its strategy of projecting him as a youth icon.

This entire strategy even has a name! It's titled 'Maker of Gujarat -- need of the nation.'

Prior to Modi's address, senior journalist Swapan Dasgupta -- who often speaks in support of the BJP -- has been roped in to interact with select JNU students at Shipra hostel.

Please click on NEXT to find out about the shockwave that rocked the Congress...


Image: Narendra Modi believes the youth will take him to Delhi.
Photographs: Sondeep Shankar/Rediff.com

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The Shinde shockwave!

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Post the Afzal Guru execution, one politician has seen his star ascend, sending a series of shockwaves through the Congress.

The canny politician who has managed this is Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde who, until last week, was in the doghouse due to his various goof-ups.

Supporters of Finance Minister P Chidambaram are said to be particularly alarmed; they can't help wonder how Shinde has suddenly transformed into an astute politician. An informal probe was conducted apparently revealed Shinde's proximity to AICC General Secretary Digvijaya Singh.

Consequently, the Chidambaram camp has started gearing up for the challenge posed by the Shinde-Digvijaya team to the finance minister's ambitions.

Please click on NEXT to find out who has the sharpest eye in the Congress...


Image: Sushil Kumar Shinde has Chidambaram worried!
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters (Sushil Kumar Shinde); Punit Paranjpe/Reuters (P Chidambaram)

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Sonia Gandhi's eagle eye!

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When it comes to keeping an eye on even the most minuscule of details, Congress President Sonia Gandhi apparently scores head and shoulders over everyone else.

At a recent function hosted by the Union ministry for rural development, the United Progressive Alliance chairperson was handed a prepared speech.

As she glanced over it, she noticed that a couple of names were missing. What could have made the matter embarrassing was the fact the names belonged to the ministry's ministers of state Pradeep Jain 'Aditya' and Lalchand Kataria, both of whom were on the dais with her.

She added their names, along with the name of ministry secretary S Vijay Kumar, and thanked them for making the NREGA scheme a success.

Since then, rural development ministry officials have been trying to puzzle out how -- and why! -- these names were left out in the first place.

Please click on NEXT to find out what Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar is up to...


Image: Sonia Gandhi is a stickler for detail.
Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters

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The ailing law ministry

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The Union law ministry is witnessing a lot of turbulence these days.

Resignations of senior law officers, disquiet, backbiting and selective leaks have put Minister Ashwani Kumar under immense pressure.

Kumar is now on the lookout for new law officers and one of the short-listed nominees is known to be close to the Gandhi son-in-law, Robert Vadra.

Though the law minister is being advised caution, Kumar does not like losing any opportunity to flaunt his proximity to both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and 10, Janpath.

Will caution or pride prevail? Your guess is good as ours!


Image: Law Minister Ashwani Kumar likes flaunting his proximity to both the prime minister and the Gandhi family.
Photographs: Mohammed Jaffer/SnapsIndia

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