More time for politics

More time for politics

Her sharp political instincts have been compared to those of her grandmother, but Priyanka Gandhi has never given her full attention to politics because of family commitments. It seems Priyanka may now get more time away from her domestic responsibilities. Son Rehan has got admission to Doon School, his grandfather's alma mater, and daughter Miraya has passed the entrance test for Welham Girls' School, also in Dehra Dun. Incidentally, an attractive, solo poster of Priyanka was recently seen in the office of one of the Congress's general secretaries.

Look who's talking

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been chiding the BJP for not showing an elder statesman like L K Advani due deference. But M Venkaiah Naidu pointed out that Nitish should be the last one to talk about concern for the elderly, considering the way he eased out George Fernandes from all important posts in the party and the NDA, even while Fernandes was still hale and hearty. In April 2006, Fernandes was not allowed to stand for re-election as JD(U) president. In December 2009, Nitish put pressure on Fernandes to step down from his post as convenor of the NDA. The unkindest cut was opposing his one-time mentor from re-contesting from his old constituency of Muzaffarpur. While Nitish talks about Narendra Modi's authoritarianism, the Bihar CM has been ruthless in cutting his opponents down to size. It was not just Fernandes, but also JD(U) MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh 'Lalan' and the late Digvijay Singh who publicly dubbed Nitish "a dictator".

Quick-change artiste

Actress Smriti Irani was not a favourite of Narendra Modi when she joined the BJP. In 2004, she issued a statement calling for Modi to resign as CM. Irani changed her tune after the party ordered her to withdraw her protest. In 2011, when Irani was chosen for a Rajya Sabha ticket, it was with Nitin Gadkari's support. Modi had wanted Nirmala Sitharaman in the Rajya Sabha. But since then, the relationship between Modi and Irani has undergone a sea change. At the BJP's Goa meeting, Irani was constantly at Modi's side, even when he was busy talking with other party leaders.

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