Is the government looking skywards to save Air India from being grounded? At least that is what one would make of a succinct response from a senior bureaucrat on the sidelines of an off-record press briefing. A journalist asked what would happen if the embattled national carrier failed to get a bidder by July. Would it mean Air India going the Jet Airways way and suspending operations? There have been reports that the finance ministry is unwilling to fund Air India and that it will be shut down if not sold by July. The bureaucrat was quick to say, “Sab bhagwan bharose hai (It all depends on the almighty).” All further efforts to draw him out met with a formidable wall of silence.
Rahul back as Congress chief?
The Congress is likely to see an organisational overhaul in the coming days. Sources say the overhaul could pave the way for Rahul Gandhi’s return as the party chief, and a rapprochement has been reached between him and party veterans. These changes are likely to reflect a mix of the younger leaders and the veterans. Sonia Gandhi, the party’s interim president, and General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have played key roles in bringing the two factions together. That the veterans helped revive the party in Haryana, kept the Bharatiya Janata Party out of power in Maharashtra with the help of Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, and led the party to an electoral win in Jharkhand have nudged Rahul Gandhi to turn to them for counsel.
Party spoiler Yogi
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath is reckoned not only for his unapologetic stance on various public issues but also for getting up early and working late into the night. However, his long working hours on this New Year’s Eve proved to be a party spoiler for the state’s top police and civil brass. On December 31, he convened a video conference meeting with all senior district-level officials, including divisional commissioners and district magistrates, apart from divisional and district police officials, to review a gamut of issues, including the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The meeting went on well past 10 in the night, which meant that the officials had to abandon New Year celebrations.