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Rediff News  All News  » News » Gossip from the Delhi Durbar: New chief ministers for Maharashtra, Haryana?

Gossip from the Delhi Durbar: New chief ministers for Maharashtra, Haryana?

Last updated on: March 13, 2013 22:03 IST

New chief ministers for Maharashtra, Haryana?



Why is Kamal Nath eyeing Chidambaram's chair?

What's special about Room 24 at the BJP headquarters?

Why is a Cabinet minister praising Narendra Modi?

All this, and more, in this week's Dilli Gupshup. Gossip from the Delhi Durbar.

Is a Cabinet reshuffle in the offing?

According to the grapevine, political compulsions and a power centre called Rahul Gandhi could force Dr Manmohan Singh's hand.

The prime minister may be compelled to undertake a Cabinet/ministerial reshuffle during the recess in Parliament's ongoing Budget session.

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi -- whose recent visit to Mumbai to meet disgruntled party workers -- is under pressure from Congress MPs and MLAs from Maharashtra, who are unhappy with the straight-backed Prithviraj Chavan, and demanding that he be replaced as chief minister.

Chavan is not averse to returning to Delhi if he is welcomed as a Cabinet minister.

In his earlier stint as a Rajya Sabha member -- before his Mr Clean image made him the ideal replacement for Maharashtra's scam-ridden chief minister Ashok Chavan -- Prithviraj Chavan was a minister of state handling several portfolios (science and technology; earth sciences; personnel, public grievances and pensions; parliamentary affairs and the prime minister's office).

Another chief minister facing an uncertain future is Haryana's Bhupinder Singh Hooda, under a cloud ever since first son-in-law Robert Vadra's strange real estate deals in his state were exposed.

Since both Chavan and Hooda are badminton enthusiasts, they may not mind being shuttled as long as there are consolatory Cabinet berth headed their way.

Please click NEXT to find out why Kamal Nath is thrilled each time P Chidambaram leaves...

Image: Are Prithviraj Chavan and Bhupinder Singh Hooda on their way out?
Photographs: Rediff Archives


Kamal Nath wants Chidambaram's chair!

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Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath is itching to move to the front row of the Treasury benches in the Lok Sabha.

Unfortunately, there is no place for him there.

Nath currently occupies the seat right behind Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the second row.

But you will seldom find him in his allotted place.

At every available opportunity, he will move to the front row and sit next to Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

The other occupants of the front row are Dr Singh, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, who is also the Leader of the House, National Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar and Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

Each time Chidambaram walks in, Nath is forced to vacate his preferred seat and move back to the second row.

Please click NEXT to find out why everyone wants Room 24 at the BJP headquarters...

Image: Kamal Nath would like to exchange seats with P Chidambaram.
Photographs: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters (Kamal Nath); B Mathur/Reuters (P Chidambaram)

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Everyone wants Room 24!

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If there is one person everyone envies at the Bharatiya Janata Party headquarters at Ashoka Road, it is the occupant of Room 24!

Every BJP leader who has occupied this room has gone on to bigger, better posts.

Narendra Singh Tomar was using this room when he was made president of the BJP's Madhya Pradesh unit.

Then, Vijay Goel moved in and he was crowned head of the BJP's Delhi unit.

The 'auspicious' room has now been allotted to BJP President Rajnath Singh's aide, Sudhanshu Trivedi.

Since he clearly does not want to head the BJP's Uttar Pradesh unit, party insiders are watching with interest to see if Room 24 will lead Trivedi to a Rajya Sabha berth...

Why is a Cabinet minister cosying up to Narendra Modi? Please click NEXT to find out...

Image: BJP leader Vijay Goel, seated, is one of the lucky occupants of Room 24.
Photographs: Courtesy

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Narendra Modi's newest bhakt

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Narendra Modi's fan following now includes a Cabinet minister.

Political circles in Delhi are buzzing about the proximity between this Cabinet minister and the Gujarat chief minister.

During his recent visit to Gandhinagar, the minister was a guest of the state government.

Though this was perfectly acceptable protocol-wise, the minister -- who is perceived to be close to both Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul -- reportedly showered lavish praise on Modi.

Both 10, Janpath, Sonia Gandhi's home, and 24, Akbar Road, the Congress party headquarters, have taken note of this new 'friendship'.

Please click NEXT to discover the capital's new mover and shaker...

Image: Why is a certain Cabinet minister praising Narendra Modi?
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters

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Mover and Shaker!

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An aide to Vice-President Hamid Ansari has become a mover and shaker in the capital.

The official has been spotted at 15, Gurdwara Rakabganj Road, where the Congress 'war room' is located.

Among other things, he is reportedly taking credit for helping tackle the controversy surrounding Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, who has been accused by the Suryanelli rape victim, and deciding on the appointment of senior officials.

Understandably, some Congress leaders are upset with his rise.

Image: An aide to Vice-President Hamid Ansari is the latest mover and shaker in the capital.
Photographs: Press Information Bureau

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