by R Rajagopalan | 05:56 PM August 09, 2017

Central Hall Tales: The hero behind Ahmed Patel's win and Jaitley's new fans

Central Hall Tales: The hero behind Ahmed Patel's win



The Central Hall of Parliament was full on Wednesday. Congress MPs were once heard criticising Jairam Ramesh as a 'motor mouth' for claiming Congress was in an existential crisis. But today they were jubilant thanks to the success of Ahmed Patel in returning to the Rajya Sabha.

Interestingly, many Congress MPs were also heard speculating that the revival of Ahmed Patel might mean the end of Rahul Gandhi's political ideas on Sonia Gandhi. 

Also, senior Congress Working Committee members were heard complaining that yesterday's meeting of the CWC was a no show. Amid the Ahmed Patel drama, none seemed interested in the 'Quit India' movement resolution by the CWC.

Speaking of the Ahmed Patel drama, the talk in the Central Hall is that it was Congress MP Rajiv Sukhla who negotiated with Sharad Pawar and Bihar Congress leaders to ensure that Gujarat NCP MLA and Gujarat JDU MLA voted for Ahmed Patel. 

Meanwhile, BJP MPs were speculating that Rajiv Sukhla's entry into Gujarat was a fall out of BCCI politics. Using his BCCI clout, Rajiv Sukhla negotiated with Sharad Pawar for his NCP MLA vote. 

BJP MPs were also heard saying that Arun Jaitley, the Finance Minister, has grown much closer to the RSS leadership. The reason for this is supposed to be his visit to Kerala on Sunday to take stock of the situation where RSS men were being killed.

Incidentally, the warning issued by Arun Jaitley in Kerala made the RSS happy, and the CPM shiver. Should there be any more killing of RSS members, Jaitley warned, the Centre would not hesitate to send a strong message to the Kerala Government under article 355, then followed by 356.

Incidentally, Arun Jaitley, being an MP from Gujarat, led the BJP delegation on Tuesday to the Election Commission to complain against the Gujarat Congress. 

The four senior ministers were Jaitley, Ravi  Shankar Prasad, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal and Dharmendra Pradhan. Interestingly, Ravi Shankar Prasad is the brother in law of Rajiv Sukhla, who naturally was part of the Congress delegations. 

Meanwhile, in the south, the topic of choice for AIADMK MPs in the Central hall was about how CM Edapati Palanisamy is going to attend Venkaiah Naidu's swearing-in as Vice President on Friday. 

But O Pannerselvam's faction is keen to skip the function, as OPS is upset with the BJP and PM Modi in particular. 

That no action has been taken against the 'corrupt' Edapati Government is the main grouse of Pannerselvam. Efforts are now being made to cajole OPS through BJP emissaries.

R Rajagopalan is a senior correspondent in New Delhi. The views expressed here are his own and do not reflect those of Asianet Newsable.

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