Declare Priyanka Gandhi UP chief minister candidate: Karti Chidambaram

New balance

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath lost no time in using Wednesday’s cabinet expansion in the state to take a swipe at the Bharatiya Janata Party and his colleague-turned-rival Jyotiraditya Scindia. “I feel very sad at not finding many able, dedicated and senior BJP MLAs in today's cabinet expansion,” the Congress leader tweeted in Hindi after 28 new ministers joined the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in the state. Many took his statement as a dig at Chouhan, who seemed to have lost the first round to Scindia. Many of Chouhan’s men did not get a berth in the Cabinet though most of Scindhia loyalists did. Scindia, who was recently elected to the Rajya Sabha, retaliated: “I don’t need any certificate either from Kamal Nath or Digvijaya Singh... I want to tell them — tiger abhi zinda hai (tiger is still alive).”

Priyanka in focus

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (pictured) has had repeated run-ins with the Uttar Pradesh government since May. Taking off from there, Congress Lok Sabha MP Karti Chidambaram thinks the party’s general secretary is now qualified to become the chief ministerial candidate for the state. In a tweet posted on Thursday, Karti said, “The path for a national revival of the @INCIndia is via Uttar Pradesh. The clearest statement of intent will be to declare @priyankagandhi as the Chief Ministerial candidate of the Congress in UP. PGV must be primarily based in Lucknow and lead the charge.” Insiders say Vadra’s profile improved several notches after she took on the UP government in May over plying buses to transport migrant labourers, stranded in Delhi, due to the lockdown, back to their homes.

Whispering complaints

While the Covid-management strategy in Delhi is often dubbed as a failure on the part of the state government, some say it was also a major bureaucratic lapse. Whispers in the city’s administrative corridors suggest that three senior bureaucrats, entrusted with key roles, were often not on the same page. Some question the efficiency of one of them, while others cite the lack of coordination between the remaining two due to differences among them. Enhancing the testing capacity and other key moves could have been achieved had the three worked together, suggest people in the bureaucracy. However, it’s true that the task was and remains a formidable one.

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