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Dilli Gupshup: Why everyone's scared of the Army Chief!

Last updated on: March 30, 2012 14:47 IST

Dilli Gupshup: Why everyone's scared of the Army Chief!

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Revealed! The similarity between General VK Singh and Arjun Singh.

Will Sharad Pawar and Ajit Singh rebel against the UPA?

What's the BJP's great dilemma?

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

If there's one person everyone's scared of these days, it's Army Chief General VK Singh.

In fact, veteran Congressmen see a certain similarity between General Singh and the late Arjun Singh.

Aisa hai ki, apart from writing well-drafted and controversial letters, the two share a passion for taping conversations. No interview with Arjun Singh was ever complete without the Madhya Pradesh politician switching on a tiny tape-recorder.

Considering recent revelations, worried babus and politicians in Raisina Hill are now wondering how many more taped conversations are in General Singh's possession.

Isi liye, no one's keen on meeting the army chief any more.


Image: General VK Singh at the Amar Jawan Jyoti in New Delhi
Photographs: PIB Photos

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Shared power

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Sharad Pawar is a man who loves wearing multiple hats; neither age, nor anything else, deters him once he sets a target. His latest goal? To become convenor of the United Progressive alliance.

Unfortunately for him, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi does not appear to be in a mood to oblige.

But Pawar is a determined sort, and won't give up! He is in touch with Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mamata Banerjee, J Jayalalithaa and Naveen Patnaik.

Sadly for Pawar, it does not look like the federal front or the third alternative will materialise soon. Kya hai na, Mulayam and Mamata have 'differences' and Jayalalithaaji is much too close to Narendra Modi.

Problem toh hai!

The biggest one, say sources close to Pawar, is the fact that the Union agriculture minister is not enjoying his stay in the Cabinet this time round.

Aisa hai ki, during the UPA's first phase in 2004-09, Pawar had headed various groups of ministers. Besides, he often informally acted as the UPA convenor. In the cabinet hierarchy then, he was ranked after Pranab Mukherjee.

But after P Chidambaram moved to home, Pawar has been ranked behind Pranab-da and Chidambaram, which denies him the opportunity to head GoMs.

In fact, in the second phase, Pawar has headed merely three GoMs – and these dealt with judges' protocol, education and fertilisers.

Lekin Pawar is not the kind to sit back, so keep watching this space for updates!


Image: Union Agriculture Minister and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, a man of many parts
Photographs: Reuters

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Ajit Singh's quest for a seat

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Here's another minister who's dissatisfied with the UPA.

Among Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh's many grudges, the biggest is that he still does not have a permanent seat as a minister in the Lok Sabha.

So, every time there is division and voting, the Rashtriya Lok Dal leader has to get up, go back and sit with the Biju Janata Dal MPs to cast his vote.

This momentary 'demotion' always leads to many catcalls.

Last heard, Singh was exerting pressure on Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal to expedite his seat allotment.


Image: Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh's wants his seat... NOW!
Photographs: Rediff archives

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The letter warrior

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Rajya Sabha MP and industrialist Rajeev Chandrasekhar has built a quite a reputation as a letter warrior.

He has written a letter to Union Defence Minister AK Antony on war veterans.

He has shot off letters to the prime minister, expressing concern over the lack of governance reforms.

In the recent past, he has also written an open letter to another industrialist questioning his righteous indignation over the 2G scam.

Earlier, Chandrasekhar had taken on another noted industrialist over another telecom tangle.

After around of open letters, that particular industrialist had called a truce and invited Chandrasekhar for a drink in the presence of the media.


Image: MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the letter warrior
Photographs: Courtesy: Rajeev Chandrasekhar's official website

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The great BJP dilemma!

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A search is on to find a suitable successor to Surinder Singh Ahluwalia, the BJP's aggressive and energetic deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha.

Party leader Nitin Gadkari wants to promote spokesman Prakash Javdekar, but the man who loves to wear Fab India kurtas lacks the necessary aggression and seniority required in the house of elders.

Lawyer Ravi Shankar Prasad is another contender.

A section of the BJP is pushing for Maya Singh, a close relative of the Scindias.

Last heard, Arun Jaitley had been empowered to look for Ahluwalia's successor.

Dekhte hain, yahan kya hota hai.


Image: Arun Jaitley has a new task on hand
Photographs: Reuters

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