Monday, June 9, 2008

Congress’ knuckles are still sore after the judicial raps

OLD habits die hard. Despite the rebuff from the Karnataka electorate, at least some Congress minions held hopes of doing aMadhu Koda in Bangalore. A Cabinet meeting at 7Race Course Road, convened to ratify the Governor’s recommendation for revocation of President’s Rule in the state, was delayed by nearly half an hour leaving Cabinet Secretary Chandrashekhar, Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta and senior PMO officials waiting in the Conference room, Panchwati. All the while, Manmohan Singh, Arjun Singh, Pranab Mukherjee Law Minister HR Bhardwaj et al were in the adjoining room, triggering speculation they were discussing apossible Congress bid for power. It was nothing of the sort. Yet, there was an upbeat mood when someone mentioned aconditional offer of support from an independent legislator if the Congress’ Siddharamiah was made the chief minister. Nobody even thought anything amiss about his claim of enlisting JD( S) support considering that Siddharamiah had walked out of the party over differences with Deve Gowda. Finally, Manmohan and his team trooped out and the outrageous idea was not even discussed. One senior minister, an ally at that, believes the proposal was dismissed outright because the Congress’ knuckles are still sore after the judicial raps that followed its misadventures in Goa and Bihar.

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