Top MCD official missing from action (Political Prattle)March 31st, 2009 - 5:55 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, March 31 (IANS) Where is Vijender Gupta? That’s what everyone in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is asking about its senior official who is now fighting the Lok Sabha polls.
Gupta, the civic body’s standing committee chairman, was given a ticket from the Chandni Chowk seat by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Since then he has not been seen in office, which means the BJP-led MCD’s activities have come to a grinding halt.
So much so that a weekly standing committee meeting - usually scheduled by him and where major decisions about project are taken - was cancelled at the last minute for no apparent reason.
“The chairman decides, he is the boss. But he is missing from action,” an MCD official said, adding that the chairman “had not come to his Town Hall office” since the announcement of his candidature March 19.
Gupta is, however, quite visible to people in his Chandni Chowk constituency as he tries to woo voters.
Party or son - a father’s dilemma
It is a tough choice indeed. Veteran Congress leader K. Karunakaran has to side with either his party or his son.
His son K. Muraleedharan is seeking a mandate in Kerala’s hilly Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency on a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ticket. But it is a Congress stronghold and the father can’t possibly campaign for the son.
Hills, valleys and pits are not big deal for Karunakaran, who has overcome many hurdles in his eventful political life. But he may now be wondering how to boost his son’s chances.
Karunakaran, who is keeping mum on the candidature of M.I. Shahnawaz for the Congress, said: “Murali is also contesting polls to win.”
A reward for being ‘unfaithful’
He made news by siding with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government during the crucial July 22 trust vote - in defiance of the whip issued by his Akali Dal party. And now Sukhdev Singh Libra has got his reward.
He has been fielded as the Congress candidate from the newly created Fatehgarh Sahib seat in Punjab.
When he defied the Akali Dal, he argued that it was a matter of pride that a Sikh from Punjab - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh - was heading the government.
So is this perhaps the Congress party’s way of returning the favour?
No flying high this time
The humiliating defeat of the Congress in Madhya Pradesh last year seems to have clipped his wings. State party president Suresh Pachouri used to be seen hovering in the sky in a chopper, campaigning for elections.
Not only is he absent from the poll scene now, sources say he is also not sure whether he can bag the Hoshangabad Lok Sabha seat. The defeat has also meant souring of relations between him and union Commerce Minister Kamal Nath.
Kamal Nath has two private helicopters and two aircraft. And one each was provided to Pachouri in the state polls. But that’s not the case this time apparently because of the strained relations.
This has made some Congress workers say: “No flying Pachouri, this election!”
Tags: akali dal, apparent reason, bharatiya janata party, bjp, candidature, civic body, congress leader, grinding halt, gupta, k karunakaran, lok sabha polls, municipal corporation of delhi, municipal corporation of delhi mcd, nationalist congress party, prattle, progressive alliance, sabha constituency, standing committee, trust vote, wayanad