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From the India Gate: Of 'Chanakya neeti' and Congress Jodo reality

There is a lot that happens behind the scenes in the corridors of power. Opinions, conspiracies, power games and internal wrangling galore in the political space. Asianet News Network’s massive ground presence taps into the pulse of politics and bureaucracy across the country.

From The India Gate Asianet News Network Special Episode 4
First Published Dec 29, 2022, 4:38 PM IST

There is a lot that happens behind the scenes in the corridors of power. Opinions, conspiracies, power games and internal wrangling galore in the political space. Asianet News Network’s massive ground presence taps into the pulse of politics and bureaucracy across the country.

'Chanakya' Neeti

One of the key weapons that Bharatiya Janata Party's master strategist, often also referred to as the party's 'Chanakya', possesses is the art of resolving issues with total silence.

A glimpse of this was seen recently in Karnataka, which is gearing up for assembly elections. BJP insiders recall an incident where a "truce" was made between a former Chief Minister and senior state leader, both of whom hail from the same district. The duo's long-standing rift was threatening to affect the party in the state.

Then 'Chanakya' intervened. He met both leaders at a common venue. Both leaders sat on either side of the strategist par excellence. There was total silence; not one word was spoken. They just watched television.

A while later, 'Chanakya' was informed that the media had been waiting outside the venue for an update. "Chalo, Jayenge," he quipped and escorted both the leaders before mikes and flashing lenses. And then, in one quick move, he raised their hands, giving a perfect frame of a happy trio. He flashed a victory sign and moved from there, ensuring to make headlines the next day.

As expected, all media reported how 'Chanakya' solved the friction between the two heavyweights in just 15 minutes. Insiders expect many such one-touch cures for lingering issues in the Karnataka unit of the BJP.

Also Read: From the India Gate: From Chacha's comeback to Baba's clout


There is a pregnant silence regarding possible Cabinet expansion in Karnataka. Aspirant MLAs are eager to get one of the six vacant berths in Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai's ministry. Even the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is keen to see a cabinet expansion.

The RSS feels it is an opportunity to woo voters from Kurubas, Gollaru, Gangamatastharu, Valmikis and Panchamasaalis in the May 2023 assembly elections.

But a former chief minister is not at all keen on seeing an expansion, given the possibility of his critics within the party making it to the Cabinet. Obviously, CM Bommai would be the last person to initiate a Cabinet expansion, knowing that it would literally stir up a hornet's nest.

All eyes are on Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who will be touring Karnataka soon. For, the final aye or nay will always be from Delhi.

Also Read: From The India Gate: From Rejig in Cabinet to 'Richie Riches' in Qatar


Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's art of weathering difficult media salvos is quite unique. And he uses 'weather' to dodge out of such situations, literally.

When the media asked him about simmering issues within the CPM after P Jayarajan levelled financial allegations against his fellow comrade E P Jayarajan, Pinarayi retorted: "It is indeed very cold here (in Delhi)."

Some weeks back, when media sought his reaction to vitriol unleashed by CPM's Idukki strongman M M Mani, MLA, on CPI national leader Ani Raja, 'rain' came to Pinarayi's rescue. "Unexpected downpour. You got a good spell of rain, right?" was his response.

When he was asked about the ongoing cold war with Governor Arif Mohammad khan, Pinarayi came up with a funny confession: "Masks do help cover face!"

Sometimes, Pinarayi takes an aggressive posture and goes into attack mode. But more often than not takes umbrage under the weather when he doesn't have the right answers.

Also Read: From The India Gate: A tale of two channels, musical chairs and two frames


Smiling faces that greeted Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra are at loggerheads in Tamil Nadu.

Congress party's hunt for a leadership change ran into a brick wall with a prominent Tamil Nadu leader scuttling the chances of the son of a former finance minister. Three other names that were peddled also fell through the fissures of inner fighting.

The spark that caused the recent fire was the removal of a businessman and legislator from a party post. Infuriated leaders camped in Delhi and ensured that this order was cancelled within hours. But their efforts to rap the prominent leader failed.

Marathon discussions could not come out with an alternative. Though the name of a female leader was mooted, that, too, was turned down.

Finally, the grand old party decided to face the 2024 polls under the same leader. But a committee will be formed to ensure fair seat allocation to all factions. Time for a Congress Jodo Yatra, Rahul?


And there is more trouble brewing in Telangana. Two top leaders -- Jaggareddy and V Hanumantha Rao -- have openly revolted against the appointment of Revanath Reddy as the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief.

Their prime opposition is to the fact that Revanath parachuted into Congress from TDP. Such elevation eclipses future prospects of home-bred leaders like them.

This "desi vs videshi" fight has seen senior leader Digvijaya Singh camping in Hyderabad for some urgent firefighting. A compromise formula hammered out seems to be hinting at the removal of Manickam Tagore from the post of the party in charge in Telangana. Tagore was one strong voice that supported Revanath.

With more leaders like former PCC chief Uttam Kumar Reddy and Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, legislative party leader of Telangana, joining the anti-Revanath brigade, it seems to be just a matter of time before a new PCC chief is appointed. Hope AICC leadership will do proper pedigree tests to pick a name acceptable to all.

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