Why Rahul Gandhi WON'T become a minister
The UPA's big slip-up.
Rashtrapati Bhavan's Bangla puzzle.
Rajiv Shukla's mini-crisis.
All this and more in this week's Dilli Gupshup.
It's every Congresswallah's ardent wish to see Rahul Gandhi as prime minister. For the time being, however, many of them will be more than happy to see him as a Cabinet minister.
Unfortunately, Rahulbaba seems to have other plans.
Once again, he has ignored Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's offer of a Cabinet post.
According to a well-informed Dilliwallah, Singh made this offer (like he has done many times earlier!) soon after Hamid Ansari was sworn in for a second term as vice-president.
But there has been no response whatsoever from the Gandhi scion.
Congress insiders claim their Rahulbaba won't decide about entering the government until early next year. For the present, he wants to focus on the forthcoming elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.
Sigh! Looks like the Uttar Pradesh debacle still rankles!
Click on NEXT to find out why the well-connected Rajiv Shukla is unhappy!
Image: Rahul Gandhi does not want to join the Cabinet just yet.
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
Rajiv Shukla's mini-crisis
Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla considers himself the UPA's key crisis-manager.
Shukla, a former journalist and cricket administrator, has a wide range of contacts in the BJP, the NCP and with many business houses.
He also has the rather unusual knack of ensuring he is in most photos featuring Sonia Gandhi and/or Manmohan Singh and/or Rahul Gandhi.
Those who know him say he considers himself a Pranab-Mukherjee-in-the-making.
Unfortunately for Shukla, though, the political world does not view him through the same lens.
In fact, many of his party colleagues do not take him seriously.
Even the NCP has reportedly told the Congress to send someone 'heavier' when 'weighty' issues need to be resolved.
Click on NEXT to find out certain Congress leaders are upset with Jairam Ramesh.
Image: Rajiv Shukla (right) with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Has Jairam Ramesh changed loyalties?
Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh's move to get solar lanterns, bicycles and transistor radios distributed in Jharkhand's Saranda district has not gone down well with many in the Congress.
In fact, a Union minister was heard wondering -- in Parliament's central hall, no less -- why Jairam was trying to popularise the election symbols of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (lantern) and the Samajwadi Party (bicycle) in the region.
Incidentally, the funds for lanterns, bicycles and transistors have come from a profit-making public sector unit.
Click on NEXT to find out more about the UPA's big slip-up.
Image: Is Jairam Ramesh in trouble?
Photographs: Jay Mandal/On Assignment
The UPA's big slip-up!
The UPA seldom loses any opportunity to criticise the Narendra Modi regime for its alleged step-motherly treatment towards minorities.
Which begs the question: Has it looked at its own performance?
Take, for example, how the Congress-ruled states have utilised the Central-government funded minority welfare schemes.
Delhi, Assam, Maharashtra and Uttrakhand have not taken advantage of the funds that they received for the minorities multi-sectoral development plan.
Delhi, for instance, has been sanctioned Rs 10.99 crores (Rs 109.9 million); the Sheila Dixit regime, however, has spent just Rs 42-75 lakhs.
Click on NEXT to find out more about Rashtrapati Bhavan's Bangla puzzle
Image: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit with a group of dancers.
Photographs: Ranjan Basu/Saab Press
Rashtrapati Bhavan's Bangla puzzle!
The Rashtrapati Bhavan staff faced a rather unusual challenge the day the new President moved in.
It involved the ubiquitous television set.
First Lady Shuvra Mukherjee loves watching Bangla television channels.
However, the guest wing of Rashtrapati Bhavan (where the presidential couple are staying until the presidential residence is renovated) had television sets that were only running Marathi channels.
It took awhile before the sets could be tuned to reflect Mrs Mukherjee's preferences.
Image: The Presidential couple