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HomePre-TruthAjit Doval’s trip to Bihar — personal visit or political recruitment drive?

Ajit Doval’s trip to Bihar — personal visit or political recruitment drive?

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Pre-Truth — snappy, witty and significant snippets from the world of politics and government.

Doval’s visit to Bihar sets the rumour mill in motion

On 8 September, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval went to Bihar on a personal trip, visiting Nalanda and Bodh Gaya. He was received by Bihar DGP K.S. Dwivedi.

But what set off the rumour mill was his visit to Dwivedi’s home. There has been speculation in Bihar that Dwivedi could join the BJP after his retirement, as the party wants to change some of its candidates ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Doval’s visit only strengthened the rumours.

Along with Dwivedi, two young IAS officers are also likely to join the BJP.

Also read: When the internet tripped up NaMo at key BJP meet

Minister’s aide thrashed for allegedly taking a bribe and not getting work done

Maharashtra minister Rajkumar Badole and his staff have become the talk of Mantralaya for all the wrong reasons. First, a residential school director from Maharashtra’s Osmanabad district allegedly thrashed a personal assistant of the minister for not forwarding his file to the concerned department, despite having taken a bribe. The school director said he had been running from pillar to post to get approval for his school since 2009.

Badole, minister for social justice and special assistance, rubbished allegations that his staff had taken any bribes, but said he would conduct an inquiry in the matter.

He did allege, however, that the school is running without authorisation, and that the director was putting pressure on his staff to get the approval at the minister’s level itself instead of following due process. He alleged that the person was mentally ill and has threatened to commit suicide over the issue earlier too.

Badole also said that this was nothing but a political conspiracy as the school director is an office-bearer of the Congress.

PM Modi’s dates with party workers

On Thursday, 13 September, Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with BJP ground workers of five select Lok Sabha constituencies via video conferencing under the ‘Mera Booth, Sabse Mazboot Samvaad’.

It was exactly on this date five years ago that Modi — after a tough internal tussle — was declared the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The significance of the date, in fact, was pointed out by a party worker during the interaction.

Earlier this year, Modi had held another similar interaction with party workers of five parliamentary seats — the first of the kind — on 6 April, which happened to be the BJP’s 38th foundation day.

Considering that both these interactions — being taken very seriously by the party and PM Modi himself — were organised on dates with some significance, many in BJP are wondering if there is a pattern to it, and whether in future as well, the exercise will coincide with an important date.

Also read: When a ‘cow vigilante’ called a BJP spokesperson rabid

The Rajasthan BJP training session that wasn’t

Despite winning all 25 Lok Sabha seats from the state in 2014, and having won over 160 of the 200 seats in the last assembly polls in 2013, many consider Rajasthan to be the BJP’s toughest electoral test this year. The BJP also seems to recognise this, and is trying to combat it by trying to win the battle of perception.

To this end, it organised a training session in Jaipur for its state spokespersons, so that they could present all arguments crisply and in a hard-hitting manner while defending the party in public and on the media. However, the central leader sent to train the locals received a shock when none of the spokespersons turned up for the session.

“The state leaders believe they are better equipped to handle any issue in the state and will be better off without the Centre teaching them their job,” a party official rued.

Some achievement, this!

Trust supporters, including those in the bureaucracy, to not miss any occasion to tom-tom the achievements of a politician. A question on I&B and sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s fitness challenge was asked in a recent episode of Kaun Banega Crorepati.

People working in his ministries have been going around announcing that the fitness challenge initiative spearheaded by Rathore has featured in the popular reality show. They are citing this as yet another achievement of the sportsperson-turned-politician.

Rain plays spoilsport

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav was supposed to fly to Delhi to attend senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal’s book launch, which also featured guests like former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, former Vice-President Hamid Ansari, former union ministers P. Chidambaram and Sharad Yadav.

But the heavy rains in Lucknow made him abandon the plan. Akhilesh waited for almost two hours at the airport for his flight to depart, but eventually, he returned home and informed Sibal that he would be unable to attend.

Also read: BJP Facebook poll for MP’s best CM candidate throws up a Congress name

Bhagwant Mann’s barbs at party rebel Khaira

Following the split in the Punjab unit of the Aam Aadmi Party, Lok Sabha MP Bhagwant Mann currently on a rally spree across the state. Known for his gift of the gab, Mann is making subtle attacks on rebel leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who had raised the banner of revolt after he was removed as the leader of opposition.

Mann often ends his speeches with this idiomatic gem: “Eh saare Punjabiyaan di party hai… Kisi aire gaire nathu ‘Khaire’ dee party nahin! (AAP is a party of all Punjabis. It doesn’t belong just to any Tom, Dick or Harry — with a pun on the word ‘khaira’).

Ailing N.D. Tiwari gets an unexpected visitor

After he quit the Congress in January last year, stalwart N.D. Tiwari fell off the party’s radar. Few Congress leaders, if any, talked about him or visited him. But recently, the 92-year-old leader, who has been admitted at Max Hospital in Saket, New Delhi, for over a year now due to age-related illnesses, received a surprise visitor.

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel turned up unannounced at the hospital to ask about Tiwari’s health. Patel stayed for half an hour and spoke to Tiwari’s family, who were pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately, Tiwari himself is unable to speak or recognise visitors.

Tiwari, a five-term chief minister, holds a unique distinction in Indian politics — he’s the only person to be CM of two states, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Tailpiece: Overheard, a senior RSS functionary: “It doesn’t matter now if (Narendra) Modi or even the BJP comes back to power in 2019 or not. Our job is done. If not Modi, we will have a janeu-dhari Brahmin (a reference to Rahul Gandhi) at the helm.”

(Contributed by Kumar Anshuman, Manasi Phadke, Ruhi Tewari, Amrita Nayak Dutta, Pragya Kaushika, Chitleen K. Sethi & Maneesh Chhibber)

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