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Dilli Gupshup

Last updated on: October 2, 2012 11:00 IST

Image: Mamata Banerjee reveals national ambitions.
Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

Rahul Gandhi's backroom decisions.

Kapil Sibal's fear of television debates.

Modi vs Advani vs Scindia.

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

Now that she's decided it's time for her to spread her wings outside her home state, nothing can stop West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

After her Delhi rally, Didi has plans to visit Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir and Kerala.

There are those, however, who want to know why a visit to poll-bound states Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh is not part of her itinerary.

Those Congressmen who have made it a point to keep a vigil on Mamata wonder why the Trinamool chief is avoiding Nitish Kumar's Bihar, Akhilesh Yadav's Uttar Pradesh and J Jayalalitha's Tamil Nadu?

Is there, asks an insider knowingly, a hidden strategy in Mamata's campaign?

Click on NEXT to find out more about Rahul Gandhi's mixed political signals...

Rahul Gandhi: Still testing political waters?

Image: Rahul Gandhi, leader-in-waiting.
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

Poor Rahul Gandhi!

Opinions within the Congress party are sharply divided over his present and future roles.

A section of the party, comprising mainly the old guard, believe that a dithering Rahul has not made up his mind about his priority areas in the party and the government.

Staunch Rahul supporters like Digvijaya Singh, however, claim Rahul has already arrived.

Apart from supporting the prime minister on key economic reforms, Rahul was reportedly instrumental in taking a firm stand on the Ajit Pawar issue and Mamata Banerjee's exit.

The AICC general secretary is said to have prevailed upon Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to take the moral high ground and accept the NCP leader's resignation from the post of deputy chief minister.

Rahul, who occasionally shows an ambitious and adventurous streak, believes the outcome will not be disastrous if the Congress plays a solo game in Maharashtra and West Bengal in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Click on NEXT to find out what worries Kapil Sibal...

What is Kapil Sibal afraid of?

Image: Kapil Sibal dreads the 'zero loss' theory.
Photographs: Pascal Lauener/Reuters

Kapil Sibal must a happy man these days.

The reason? The Supreme Court's observations on the 2G case.

However, when a correspondent asked the Union human resource and telecom minister if he felt vindicated about his 'zero loss theory,' Sibal quickly requested that no such reference be made.

The UPA's spin doctor explained, to much hearty laughter, that he dreads private television news channels debating the 'zero loss theory' once again.

Click on NEXT to out what the BJP leaders have been up to...

Who's the winner?

Image: BJP leaders Modi and Advani
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters

Senior BJP leaders were spotted in many different moods at the party's national council at Surajkund.

LK Advani turned 'secular,' seeing great merit in the NDA-plus-plus combination.

Narendra Modi used the backroom to interact with all levels of BJP leaders from across the country. Often, there were long queues of leaders of substance waiting to call on Modi.

However, if posters and cutouts were any indication, it was Vasundhraraje Scindia who dwarfed everyone.

The maharani attended the meet on last day for a few hours only, but the road from Delhi to Surajkund was plastered with her photographs, banners, posters and huge cutouts.

Once a Maharani, clearly, always a Maharani!

Click on NEXT to find out why Minister C P Joshi is always spotted at Rail Bhavan...

Ek chai ka sawaal hai...

Image: Union Surface Transport Minister CP Joshi
Photographs: Courtesy: PIB

Since Union Surface Transport Minister CP Joshi was given additional charge of railways, the former psychology professor has been spending most of his time in Rail Bhavan.

Babus in Transport Bhavan have the option of whiling away time in their ministry or walking along Red Cross Road to reach Rail Bhavan for a tete-a-tete with the minister.

The reason, apparently, lies in the fact that Joshi is very fond of the tea served in Rail Bhavan.