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Dilli Gupshup: Gossip from the Delhi Durbar

Last updated on: April 25, 2012 08:54 IST

Guess who's Narendra Modi's latest chela?



It's not been a great week for the prime minister.

Manmohan Singh has been blamed for the Congress's UP debacle.

The UPA government's third anniversary is coming up and it has barely any achievements to showcase.

The UPA has discovered why it can no longer depend on the Muslim vote.

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

Hmmm! Politics sees the strangest bedfellows.

The latest to buddy up are Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The two Mukhya Mantris were spotted sharing notes over the Maoist problem that has particularly plagued Patnaik these past months.

Patnaik, who had snapped links with Modi's BJP party to project himself as secular, was heard seeking Modi's advice on the Maoist menace in his state.

The BJP's resident tough guy responded in a rather 'Main hoon na, don't worry' tone.

One wonders if Modi passed on these tips to a BJP colleague who is also struggling with the Maoists.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh needs help.

Please click NEXT to read more Dilli Gupshup...

Image: Narendra Modi and Naveen Patnaik
Photographs: Reuters


The moving finger stops at Dr Singh

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Aaj kal Congress Party mein ho kya raha hai? Their bade bade netas are pointing fingers at each other.

Everyone knows of the panel that was appointed to find the 'real' reasons behind the party's debacle in the Uttar Pradesh assembly election.

The panel's heavyweight members include Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit (who oversaw the Congress's disastrous performance in the recent civic polls; she says she takes responsibility for the defeat, but insists it cannot be seen as the voter's reaction to her mis... err... rule) and Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.

Heading the panel is Defence Minister A K Antony.

After much deliberation and analysis, this panel has reportedly revealed that the Congress-led UPA government's failure to cater to the aam aadmi caused the Congress's poor showing in Uttar Pradesh.

The All India Congress Committee (read General Secretary Digvijay Singh) has also been criticised for the faulty selection of party candidates, a delay in poll preparations, etc.

In other words, Antony has put Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the dock and given Rahul Gandhi -- who had made the UP election a personal challenge -- a clean chit.

The report is likely to be submitted to Congress President Sonia Gandhi next week.

Please click NEXT to read more Dilli Gupshup...

Image: Remembering the good times: A K Antony, Pranab Mukherjee, Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh at the government's swearing-in ceremony in 2009
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters

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Anniversary celebration or...

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Oof! Poor Manmohan Singh!

Even anniversaries are no longer good news.

The UPA will complete three years in office next month. And the Prime Minister's Office is struggling to prepare a 'report card' that will showcase the regime's achievements.

Some PMO officials privately admit that there is not much to boast of.

In a scraping-the-bottom-of-the-barrel bid, the PMO has asked each ministry to furnish details of their achievements.

Please click NEXT to read more Dilli Gupshup...

Image: What will the UPA celebrate?
Photographs: Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

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Stunned Congress reels from unexpected blow

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There is more trouble for the UPA.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board, which says it represents various Muslim sects in India, has held the Congress-led UPA responsible for trying to deprive Muslims of their Constitutional rights.

At the AIMPLB's 22nd general body meeting in Mumbai, religious heads condemned the UPA for intruding in the Islamic shariat, pushing the Right to Information Act, the Direct Tax Code and Waqf Act 2010.

The curt message from Mumbai has stunned the Congress leadership, which had benefited from Muslim votes in both the 2004 and 2009 general elections.

Coupled with the recent UP election, these tough words from the AIMPLB have taught the Congress a grim lesson -- minority votes cannot taken for granted in 2014.

Please click NEXT to read more Dilli Gupshup...

Image: Rahul Gandhi is greeted by a Muslim supporter in Gauriganj village, Amethi
Photographs: Pawan Kumar/Reuters

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The embattled Prithviraj Chavan

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has also been spotted with a furrowed brow.

Chavan, says our jasoos, is looking for a spin doctor in New Delhi.

Chavan, once the blue-eyed boy of the powers-that-be, is reportedly worried about the constant adverse publicity that paints him as a 'weak administrator' and an 'indecisive decision-maker.'

Chavan suspects this to be the handiwork of detractors like Maharashtra's former chief ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh, Ashok Chavan, Sushil Kumar Shinde and the young Mumbai MP, Milind Deora.

Which is why the anxious chief minister was spotted in Delhi recently; he wanted to explain his position to both Sonia Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh.

Image: Maharashtra's worried Chief Minister Prithviraj Chauhan
Photographs: Sahil Salvi

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