Union minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Prakash Javadekar was left fumbling for words on Wednesday. At a BJP press meet, Javadekar launched on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his comments on Kashmir, which, he said, "insulted" the country and had given Pakistan "a handle" to target India at the United Nations. Gandhi had tweeted about "violence and people dying" in Kashmir, which Pakistan included as part of its petition in the UN to attack India over the situation in the Valley. Javadekar demanded that Gandhi apologise for what he termed the "most irresponsible politics" the country had witnessed. Gandhi's tweets on Wednesday, attacking Pakistan and asserting that Kashmir was India's internal issue, were made due to public anger over his earlier comments, Javadekar said. He wondered if Gandhi's mindset had also changed due to the change in his constituency. When asked to clarify what he meant by his comments about "Rahul's constituency", Javadekar first struggled to explain himself and then said his remarks were not about the constituency but its representative. Gandhi represents the Wayanad constituency in the Lok Sabha. He had represented Amethi for 10 years between 2004 and 2014.
Vanishing group of ministers
National broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) on Wednesday afternoon tweeted that the government had constituted a "GoM", or group of ministers, to look into issues concerning Jammu and Kashmir. The tweet, with the hashtag "Article 370", came a little after 2 pm. It fuelled speculation about the ambit of such a "group of ministers". However, nearly two and a half hours later, government sources denied that any "GoM" was constituted. "Reports about the government setting up a GoM on issues relating to Jammu and Kashmir are not correct," a government source said. Some also wondered how AIR could do this without official confirmation.
Too little, too late
After facing a near wipe-out in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, followed by a string of senior leaders, including legislators, deserting the party, Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav (pictured) has decided to dissolve all state- and district-level committees in Uttar Pradesh.Barring UP unit President Naresh Uttam Patel, the former chief minister sacked all other office-bearers. As expected, there is a lot of unhappiness because of this. But a section of the party feels Yadav's move was long overdue and should have taken place much earlier or immediately after the Lok Sabha elections. With three sitting Rajya Sabha members crossing over to the BJP recently, there has been much damage, both to the organisation and member morale, they said, and that his "surgical strike" might be "too little, too late".