Wednesday, August 25, 2010

HEARSAY- new grapevine venture


A new column from today

of Corridors gossips 

R Rajagopalan

UPA2 cabinet full of egoists

CP Joshi raises ruckus in Cabinet meetings

In the last Cabinet meeting held a few days ago, there was a virtual 
face off between Union Human Research and Development Minister Kapil 
Sibal and Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister 
C P Joshi, with Joshi objecting to the setting up of an education 
tribunal being installed by Sibal.,writes Renu Mittal in her column

Renu Mittal alsostated that her sources confirm
that Kapil Sibal's view point was that if bodies like the 
AICTE and others had grievances and needed to approach some authority 
to resolve their problems, the tribunal would act in that direction and 
avoid the judicial route, as that is 'too time-consuming and non-productive.'

But Joshi said that having been a teacher (he was a professor), he felt 
it could not be done in this way and objected to the setting up of the 

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is then learnt to have intervened 
and told Joshi that the Cabinet was going ahead with the bill, and whatever 
clarifications Joshi needed or any points to be sorted out, he should contact
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee  who would explain them to him.
Later that same day Joshi had a meeting with Mukherjee in his office.

Sources in the HRD ministry state that part of Joshi's anger stems from 
the fact that he had been asking for an Indian Institute of Management to 
be set up in his constituency of Bhilwara, in Rajasthan  but it 
is learnt that according to the feasibility studies by the HRD ministry, 
it is not felt to be a suitable place.

Most MPs and ministers have been asking for big-ticket educational 
institutions to be set up in their constituencies, but HRD ministry 
officials say this is neither practical nor possible and that they 
cannot accommodate all the requests which come their way.

Joshi's meeting with Pranab Mukherjee also comes after his controversial 
remarks following Congress' poor show in the Rajasthan local bodies elections. 
Joshi, also the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committe president, said that price 
rise was responsible for the party's poor showing, particularly in urban areas 
where the people have been hit hard by surging inflation.

A senior Union minister said that the leadership has not taken Joshi's statement 
too well, since he appears to be forgetting for the moment
that he is also a senior Cabinet minister in the government and that
this kind of statement reflects poorly on not only the entire government but the 
Congress party as well.

A senior leader from Rajasthan said that since Joshi has two heavy duty portfolios, 
both of which have a wide canvas, he has not been able to focus on his role as the 
state PCC president, which also requires a great deal of time to be spent there.

On top of that, he is the president of the Rajasthan cricket association and needs 
to spend time focusing on cricketing affairs.

As if that is not enough, Joshi has also been made a member of the Congress party's 
screening committee for Bihar, of which Hari Prasad is the chairman This committee 
would be screening all the candidates for the upcoming assembly polls and shortlisting and 
recommending the names of the prospective candidates.

A senior AICC functionary said that the leadership is in the process of rationalising the 
dual responsibility given to leaders as many of them are doubling up in the organisation 
and the government, with the result that they have little time to do justice to their job.

In this context it would be fair to say that with the organizational elections underway in 
the Congress party, Rajasthan is likely to have a new PCC president if the leadership goes 
by the dictum of 'one man one post.'

Hectic lobbying is on in Rajasthan for the new president as both Joshi and Chief 
Minister Ashok Gehlot  are pushing for their own man for the plum post.

Relations between Joshi and Gehlot are known to be strained.


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