The ghost of the Saradha chit fund scam continues to hound West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. After Congress' Bengal leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury attacked Banerjee's Trinamool Congress over the Saradha chit fund case in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Banerjee was left fuming. She refused to calm down even after Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi reached out to her. "We will remember," she said. "We are accusing each other but we are friends," Sonia Gandhi told Banerjee.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) held a protest at New Delhi's Jantar Mantar on Wednesday. The dais had leaders from nearly all Opposition parties, and photographs of B R Ambedkar formed the backdrop. The AAP was born during the anti-corruption movement of 2011 when Anna Hazare began a hunger strike at Jantar Mantar with a life-sized picture of Bharatmata forming the backdrop. If that movement was against the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), the protest on Wednesday saw senior leaders from Congress, Anand Sharma, and UPA constituents like Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Nationalist Congress Party align with other parties against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance. Incidentally, the protest was held just outside the Janata Dal (United) national headquarters, which has kept vacillating between the BJP and Congress-led Opposition.
From strength to strength
As Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (pictured) continues to dither on cabinet expansion, there is wild speculation in the state about the possible dates. Earlier, there was some conjecture that an announcement was forthcoming on February 9/10, the day goddess Saraswati was to be worshipped. All hopes were dashed when there was no word from the chief minister even on the auspicious ratha saptami, which fell on Tuesday. Now there is talk of a possible cabinet expansion after February 15. According to planetary positions of Rao — he is a firm believer in astrology — a favourable planetary alignment post that date is expected to bestow more strength on him.