Friday, January 26, 2018

Fly on the Wall : Rahul to hold Open Darbars

by Harish Gupta, National Editor, Lokmat Group

Rahul to hold Open Darbars

The Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, may follow the foot steps of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv to directly connect with party workers and common man. It transpires that Rahul Gandhi's new team of advisers has impressed upon him to spend at least three days a week at the party headquarters 24 Akbar Road whenever in Delhi. While one day will be exclusively earmarked for party workers and common man, the second day will be to interact with office bearers and frontal organisations. The leaders from states will also be given fixed day for interaction with the Congress president. It will be like an Rahul's “open darbar”. The big drawback in the Congress leadership for long had been that neither Sonia Gandhi and nor Dr Manmohan Singh hold such “Open Darbars” for security reasons. But Rahul Gandhi has decided to disregard these concerns expressed by the Special Protection Group (SPG) and conveyed that he would like to mingle with the people freely and hear them out. Rahul Gandhi wants to break the shackles of protocol and norms in the days to come. If sources are to be believed, he will start this practice from early next month.  

Modi Govt. derails Rahul plan, issues eviction notice 

Rahul Gandhi may be contemplating to hold “open Darbars” at 24 Akbar Road from February. But the Modi government has other plans in store and wants to oust the party from its 24 Akbar Road headquarters and other buildings within the next three months. The Cabinet Committee on Accommodation (CCA) has served the final notice to AICC to vacate government two bungalows and also 5 Raisina Road accommodation occupied by the Youth Congress. The notice also includes vacating a residential house in Chankyapuri. The AICC has been occupying these type VIII bungalows since 1976. The CCA's reminded that first notice was given in 2015 and several extensions have been given after the Supreme Court issued eviction orders to all political parties from the Lutyen's Bungalow Zone area. All National political parties including the Congress, BJP, BSP and others have been given alternative places to construct their own party headquarters. The Congress had also been allotted two-acre plot at Kotla Road and construction also began there. But the construction work is progressing at a snail pace. Now the Modi government is determined to oust the AICC at the earliest. The Congress has explained that the completion of building at Kotla Road will take one more year. The Urban Development Ministry is determined to get 26 Akbar Road bungalow given to Congress Deva Dal and 5 Raisina Road bungalow given to Indian Youth Congress vacated immediately and  asked why hefty fine be not imposed for not vacating.. The Cabinet Committee on Accommodation consists of Union Ministers; Rajnath Singh Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari,Ananth Kumar and Hardeep Puri.

State-of-the-art BJP headquarters ready 

Contrary to the AICC which ruled the country for ten consecutive years and failed to construct its headquarters, the BJP president, Amit Shah did a miracle of sort. He has finished the task in less than a year and the new party headquarters at the Deen Dayal Marg near Raouse Avenue is ready for occupation. Shah is determined to vacate the 11 Ashok Road headquarters any time in February when the PM inaugurates the 5-7 floor state-of-the-art building. The building will have 70 rooms-- 45 for leaders and 25 for workers. The 8000 sq meter building which smaller than what was allotted to the Congress, will have a library having 4000 e-books and 5000 on the shelf. A war room on the top floor will be fitted with satlites and connected to all district headquarters. Though a helipad is also being readied on top of the building. But there is nobody to confirm it. The building will have ten high speed lifts and an underground parking facility for 200 cars.

Padma awards; Modi style

Ever since Modi donned the Mantle, the Padma awards have undergone a sea-change. Gone are the days when Governors, Union Ministers and ruling party top leaders used to call the shots. Privately, all of them have been told not to send letters of recommendation favouring persons of their choice. A platform has been created on the website of the Union Home Ministry with detailed parameters to be followed. The names recommended by the high powered committee in this regard were lying on the Prime Minister's table when he left for Davos. Though he landed on January 23 evening, he found no time to look at the names. Reason is that PMO is scrutinizing through its own network these recommendations. If sources are to be believed, the PM did not heed to the recommendations of former President Pranab Mukherjee to award Padam Bhushan to a leading doctor with a private hospital. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Puducherry Governor Kiran Bedi and three other top Union Ministers also met the same fate. Realising that they face humiliation last year, hardly any senior minister has recommended Padma this year directly. By the way, any citizen is free to recommend anybody for Padma award through the MHA website. 

Who is PM's most favourite bureaucrat?

If you think Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia is Modi's most favourite bureaucrat you may perhaps be wrong. Adhia is a Gujrati and Gujrat cadre IAS officer. But he would have been secretary in any case due to his seniority in the government. The favour will come when he dons the mantle of Cabinet Secretary. Its a different matter that even here, he will be senior-most secretary in the government. But the Prime Minister surprised the entire bureaucracy when another extension in service was given to    Parameswaran Iyer, as Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. Iyer was brought from retirement and appointed full secretary for two years by Modi. This was unprecedented as retired bureaucrats are brought in service as advisers/consultants etc. It was expected that Iyer will retire after completing two years. But in another rare decision, Modi gave him one more extension until 30.04.2019.  

Friday, January 19, 2018

Fly on the wall : Now Modi Mantra for Governors too

by Harish Gupta, National Editor, Lokmat Group

Now Modi Mantra for Governors too

Prime Minister Modi is understood to have expressed the view that the Governors should play active role rather than merely launching books, open exhibitions, attend cultural functions etc etc. No doubt, the governors are not expected to play political role in the state they are deputed by the President. But they should strive to find a role in nation building. It transpires that the PM shared his thoughts with the President, Ram Nath Kovind sometime ago as Governors report to the President on a daily basis. Of course, the Union Home Ministry under Rajnath Singh plays a key role while dealing with the states & Governors. It now transpires that the President was extremely enthusiastic about the idea and decided to take it up in the Committee of Governors which meets at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on a regular basis. The PM wanted that Governors should play a key role in development of the state and should extensively travel within the state and go to districts. Since the Chief Ministers are extremely busy in political management and other affairs, the governors should interact with people and should be seen as agents of change. Since they are the representatives of the Centre, they should take forward the development mantra. They should draw a line between politics and development. Accordingly, a concept paper emerged and the committee of governors submitted a report: Governors- Ambassadors of Change in the society. The issue was discussed at a conference of governors as well last year. But no one got a wind of it. Now that the report has come, a detailed guideline is likely to be issued to be followed by the Governors. The PM doesn't want governors to sit in Raj Bhawans and have good time. They should travel and reach out to the people and create their own identity by connecting with the people and become their mentors. The Chief Ministers of BJP ruled states may not mind this over-reach by the governors. But non-NDA states may not accept it. Even 75-plus year-old governors are also not very enthusiastic of Modi's plan as they want to live a retired political life.

10 Ministers-in-waiting needed for 10 ASEAN Leaders

A search is on for 10 most competent Ministers of State out of a total number of 37 MoS who are to deputed as Minister-in-waiting for 10 Heads/Prime Ministers of 10 ASEAN countries. As per the protocol, all heads of 10 ASEAN countries have to be treated at par. Therefore, ministers-in-waiting will have to be of the same rank for these 10 heads and no MoS with Independent charge or a Cabinet rank minister will be deputed for them. These 10 Ministers of state are being carefully chosen by the Prime Minister himself as it is for the first time that ten heads of countries will be Guest of Honour at the Republic Day parade at Rajpath. These MoS will accompany their respective heads throughout their stay in India who will also attend ASEAN Summit on January 25. It transpires that the PM will return from Davos on January 24 after addressing the Plenary session on January 23 night. Modi wants Republic Day celebration in 2018 to be "remembered through the ages".

The ministries of Defence & External Affairs are working round the clock to cope with the situation as the PM is personally monitoring the arrangements. Even the Dais Plan at Rajpath venue is personally chalked out by Modi. The ministers are M J Akbar, Vijay Goel, Anupriya Patel, P P Chaudhary, Satya Pal Singh, S S Ahluwalia, Jayant Sinha and others.

Changes in RSS unlikely, for now

Intense speculation is on in the RSS whether Bhayyaji Joshi who is number two in the hierarchy, will stay as Sarkarvah (General Secretary). An affable and tough RSS top leader was not keeping well for the past some time. Though he has fully recovered, speculation in rife in Nagpur about his continuation. Sources say Bhaiyyaji Joshi himself is not keen to stay beyond March when the issue will come up. Joshi has held the post for three consecutive terms. However, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat doesn't want him to go particularly when the RSS is in the midst of massive expansion plans. The BJP, one of the RSS' frontal organisation, also needs massive support for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The RSS also has a challenge to keep coordination among its other 50-odd front organisations. The differences between the BJP and Swadesh Jagran Manch, VHP and others also needs tactful handling. Bhaiyyaji Joshi has been handling all this for a long time. Though there is a competent team of four joint general secretaries comprising of Dattatreya Hosabale, Suresh Soni, Krishan Gopal and V Bhagaiah and also Manmohan Vaidya who is head of the ideological wing of the RSS. But Bhagwat won't like to make any changes at this juncture.

Yogi angry with Centre on new DGP

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is extremely angry with the Centre. Reason ? There is a deafening silence in North Block over the appointment of Om Prakash Singh as the new UP Director-General of Police. An announcement was made 10 days back that CISF DG Om Prakash Singh will be the new UP DGP. O P Singh is the second senior-most IPS officer of the UP cadre and Yogi Adityanath specially requested Rajnath Singh to relieve the officer immediately. The Union Home Minister reported to have cleared the appointment and it was expected that O P Singh will join as DGP on January 3. But all went quiet and no one willing to say anything. Yogi doesn't have the courage to ring up the PM and ask where is the file pending and why. The silence of the PMO suggest that the Department of Personnel may be exploring other possibilities. When it was pointed out that O P Singh is junior to another IPS officer Praveen Kumar, it was explained that Praveen Kumar has just three months to retire. The Centre doesn't permit states to give extensions to the DGP beyond three months. Yogi explained that he can't have DGPs every six months in the state. But Modi was not amused. It is said the Centre is not too impressed with the credentials of O P Singh. It is said that Yogi is relying more on officers of Rajput community and this is not sending the right signal. If the SP and BSP governments resorted to appointing Yadavs and persons of a particular community, no useful purpose will be served by following the same pattern. Now the officers of of a particular caste are being appointed in key positions in the state. The Centre is already worried about the law and order situation in UP. But Yogi is unwilling to relent. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Fly on the wall :BJP-JD (U) tussle for Araria LS seat

by Harish Gupta, National Editor, Lokmat Group

BJP-JD (U) tussle for Araria LS seat

The new alliance partners, BJP and Janata Dal (U) are engaged in a bitter battle as to who will contest the Araria Lok Sabha seat which fell vacant after the demise of Shahabuddin (RJD). Since the BJP candidate Pradeep Kumar Singh had secured 40,000 more votes than JD (U)'s Vijay Kumar Mandal during 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP wants the seat. But Nitish Kumar wants the BJP to decide the seat-sharing formula between the two parties for 2019 polls. The BJP is in no mood to open this kind of a dialogue as it had won 32 Lok Sabha seats on its own in 2014 polls out of 40. It thinks a joint candidate of BJP-JD (U) will defeat the RJD in Araria and Nitish Kumar should make a sacrifice. Nitish Kumar is in no mood to do so without a price.

Baffling Defiance by BJP Mps in Lok Sabha

The failure of the Triple Talaq Bill to clear the Rajya Sabha muster hogged the limelight. But what was lost in the din was disaster in the Lok Sabha at the fag end of the Winter session where the BJP Mps defied the party whip. They failed to be present in the House to pass the Backward Classes bill. The NDA has 340 Mps in the Lok Sabha and the presence of only 270 Mps with two third voting in its favour was required. To the shock and disbelief of the ruling BJP, the Mps failed to turn up to complete the quorum when the bill was about to be put to vote. It had to be deferred twice. The Prime Minister was furious and BJP chief Amit Shah was losing his cool in the chamber. But nothing worked. Even the BJP's allies, TDP, Shiv Sena, etc had signaled that they won't be in a position to support the bill. Any lessons learnt ? Not really ! A top BJP manager said that the party had decided to defer its passage due to its own political reasons.

Rahul, Amit Shah face-to-face again

Congress president Rahul Gandhi and BJP president Amit Shah will be face-to-face again. If they entered into bitter power struggle in Gujrat, they will be face-to-face again in Karnataka. BJP chief Shah believes that Karnataka will be the real test of Rahul Gandhi as his challenge will be to retain the most crucial and only major state with the party. “I faced the same challenge in Gujrat,” Amit Shah quipped in an informal chat and added, “Gujrat was not Rahul Gandhi's test, it was our test to retain the state.” Obviously, Karnataka will be the first battle ground between the two party chiefs where both parties are strong. The battle becomes interesting as Rahul Gandhi has transformed into a "Janaudhari" Brahmin. Shah is extremely happy with it as Rahul Gandhi has come to play into BJP's Hindu turf. The battle in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland is essentially not between the Congress and the BJP as north eastern states go with the wind at the centre.

Team Rahul to decide AICC session date, venue

The Team Rahul is unable to make up it mind whether to hold the AICC session before the Karnataka Assembly polls in February or in May. The new dispensation is also unable to make it mind whether to hold the AICC session in Delhi, Bengaluru or somewhere else. Since Parliament will go into recess for a month from February 10, there was a suggestion that one-day AICC session be held to ratify the election of Rahul Gandhi during this period. Another view is that Rahul Gandhi has already been elected unanimously by the Congress Working Committee and there is no hurry to hold AICC. The session can be held whenever possible. The party has to work hard to retain Karnataka which will go to polls before May 5. The Election Commission will most likely declare poll dates in mid-March. The Assembly polls are already underway in three states. Then the biennial elections for 60-odd Rajya Sabha seats will come up in states in March. The venue of the AICC is also a matter of serious consideration. The Gujrat unit is insisting that the AICC be held there to send the right signal to the Modi-Shah team. The BJP is vulnerable in the state and its time to give more attention.

BJP National Executive in February

Even as the Congress continues to in a dilemma over holding of the AICC session, the BJP is likely to hold its National Executive meeting in early February. The reason is that BJP's new 5-storied headquarter will be ready by February and party president Amit Shah is wants to show-case it to the world. The building will be inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi. Amit Shah is also setting up party's top secret War Room on the 5th floor which be a restricted area. If all goes as per plans, the National Executive may be held around the same time.

Major bureaucratic reshuffle in offing

PM Modi will have to undertake another reshuffle in top bureaucracy as two senior secretaries are retiring this month end and another four in a couple of months. Panchayati Raj Secretary Jitendra Shankar Mathur, and Parliament Affairs Secretary Rajiv Yadav will retire in the next 15 days while Kewal Kumar Sharma, Secretary, Dept of Higher Education, Ajay Mittal, Secretary, DOPT, Dr. P Parameshwaran Iyer, Secretary Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation. Iyer and Mines Secretary Arun Kumar will demit office as well. Interestingly, Modi had brought Dr P Parameshwaran Aiyer from retirement and made him secretary again for two years raising eyebrows in the bureaucracy. He has already served his tenure of two years in the ministry and there is resentment in the bureaucracy as new trend has been set by Modi. Normally, serving secretaries are given extensions. But this first time that a retired secretary who had gone home was brought back into the post while serving additional secretaries waiting in the wings for promotion. It is learnt that Modi continues to be upset with the bureaucracy for not taking forward his development agenda. Therefore, he has decided to send senior bureaucrats to district headquarters to be part of his development model.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

PM-FM Brainstroming over Budget

by Harish Gupta, National Editor, Lokmat Group

Exclusive story

PM-FM  Brainstroming over Budget 
meetings on a daily basis for hours
Both worried over the state of economy 
Focus on Farm & Job Creation 

Harish Gupta

New Delhi, Jan. 8 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has started holding pre-Budget meetings with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and top officials of the PMO and Finance Ministry.

Extremely worried over the state of economy and voices of concern emanating from various quarters, the Prime Minister has set a new precedent by actively playing a role in the Budget making exercises. 

Highly placed sources in the PMO say that Jaitley is meeting the Prime Minister virtually on a daily basis for hours together and later officials of the finance ministry also join to provide required information. These sources say such meetings go until late in the night. Normally, the Prime Ministers have adopted hand-off approach to the Budget-making exercise and interact with their finance ministers once or twice on policy issues. Even Modi had adopted hand-off approach since 2014 with regard to the Union Budget. Jaitley used to visit Modi and apprise him of important points and take a few suggestions. 

But the 2018 Budget will be different, it seems. It will have a clear stamp of Modi as he is going into the details of all major proposals and wants to understand everything to get at the bottom. Modi is now hands-on PM and policy issues and giving direction to the Budget. It is clear from the deliberations that Modi is looking for a one Big Idea to hit upon the farm sector which is in great distress. Modi wants agriculture and farm sector to be the main focus of his budget which can also lead to job creation. He was also toying with the idea of bringing a new agriculture minister. but it has now been kept in abeyance. Jaitley has already made it clear that the government's priority will,  be to accelerate growth momentum, employment generation and focus on farm sector. 

Instead of raising the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of crop, Modi government is focusing on reducing cost of farming, providing technology, giving the farmer fertilizer needed for his soil, storage and marketing facilities. For the first time in the country, 12 types of fertilizers will be provided in the country to the farmers as per their soil health cards. All fertilizer companies have started implementing the scheme. The import of agriculture produce is being restricted and export of sugar and other crop is being liberalised.  The focus will be on increased allocation for NREGA. The allocation will go up from Rs 69000 crores to Rs 80,000 to provide immediate help to the people in the villages.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Special report : Modi wants Forensic audit of Lok Sabha MPs

by Harish Gupta, National Editor, Lokmat Group

Special report

Modi wants Forensic audit of Lok Sabha MPs
Amit Shah orders countrywide survey
12 parameters set to assess the performance

Harish Gupta

New Delhi, Jan 7

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has directed a forensic audit of all sitting BJP MPs of the Lok Sabha before the 2019 Parliamentary polls.

Accordingly, the party high command has set up a special cell to assess the performance of MPs on various parameters set by Modi personally. Irrespective of the seniority, all MPs will be given marks as per the forensic audit or performance parameter set by the PM and implemented under a special unit set up by BJP president Amit Shah. Highly placed sources say that the assistance of select agencies has also been taken to collate the data collected. Since no single agency can assess the performance and winnability of the MPs in all the states, the party chief has short-listed at least six such agencies to undertake the exercise. The Prime Minister is keen to get a first hand report from the party about the performance of each MP on a dozen parameters set by him. The forensic audit will include the performance of the MPs in Lok Sabha and also their political clout and importance in respective constituency. The PM desired that each MP’s performance be assessed independent of his stature, seniority and political weightage.

Though Lok Sabha elections are still 15 months away, the PM wants to have a compact report about his/her contribution under these parameters. Accordingly, the party has begun the first-of-its-kind exercise which will help it to decide on their candidature for the next elections.

The report will first be submitted to party chief Amit Shah who will then discuss with the PM. The assessment report will be on state by state basis and will be submitted by September-October 2018 so that enough time is at hand to take a final call on the candidacy of the aspirant.

The attendance, participation in debates, contribution in committees they were nominated, role they played when on foreign tours on behalf of party or parliament, any major initiative taken, any special ideas generated and in any manner they helped the party to add value to the task assigned.

Since there is BJP government in most of the states, whether the MP concerned has been able to help in the implementation of central government schemes. Whether the MP has helped in popularizing Prime Minister Modi’s pet 23 projects launched during the past four years. Whether the MP has been able to utilize the MPLAD scheme funds in his/her constituency.

In addition, the conduct of concerned MP in public and Parliament will be under special scanner and what kind statements he/she made to the media.

Modi has been particularly keen about the active role played by the MPs on social media and has been critical of them in various interactions at parliamentary party meetings or otherwise. Lately Modi has stopped meeting MPs state-wise as he has completed this round twice. The forensic audit will also find out the winnability of sitting MPs in terms of popularity, accessibility and development works carried out in their areas.

Fly on the Wall : Modi prods for NaMo App, MP s not worried

by Harish Gupta, National Editor, Lokmat Group

Fly on the Wall for Friday publication 

Harish Gupta 

Modi prods for NaMo App, MP s not worried

Ever since Prime Minister Modi castigated his party Mps for not responding to his “Namaste” every morning, there is virtual panic among them. When Modi disclosed that of the 330 BJP Mps only five respond to his NaMo App daily. Top ministers present at the meeting were sheepish while others rushed to download the NaMo App so that they join the “Namaste” club. While the BJP opened a special counter at the parliamentary party office to enable the Mps to download the App, the Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha internet cell also went out of its way to help the Mps. Some of the Mps are using not one but three phones; one for people in their respective constituencies, the other for party leaders and third for private use. Secondly, they have at least ten What's App groups they have to deal with every minute. The Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha secretariats have one group for their Mps, the other is for BJP parliamentary party, the third is MPLAD, fourth is parliamentary party committees and so on and so forth. In addition, they also have to deal with the problems of family and constituents. As if this was not enough they also tell Modi ji and Amit Shah desperately as to what they have done in their constituencies, upload photos of their visits, update on PM's 20 welfare schemes etc etc. Majority of Mps are not well-versed in technology either and find it difficult to communicate. They cannot hire the services of a full time technical hand as their salaries and perks has not been enhanced. Some of the vocal BJP Lok Sabha MP s made it clear that they will not reply on NaMo App come what may. “If our performance is to be judged by whether we do Namaste every day, then we are better off without a ticket,” said at least five Lok Sabha MP s belonging to Haryana, Maharashtra and even Rajasthan. Surely, the PM may be getting better feedback. At least three ministers say that they don't use smart phones.

Mayawati plays pricey

BSP Chief Mayawati has signaled that she will neither contest in a byelection for the Phulpur Lok Sabha seat and nor seek re-nomination for the Rajya Sabha seat. The byelection for the Lok Sabha seat can be announced by the Election Commission anytime and biennial poll for Rajya Sabha is due this April. The Samajwadi Party and Congress have sent feelers to the BSP that “Behanji” contest a common Opposition candidate from the seat vacated by the BJP MP Keshav Prasad Maurya who resigned to become deputy Chief Minister. Mayawati has not responded but her party sources say that opposition unity cannot be a onetime affair. Secondly, she doesn't want to contest in a byelection. With regard to Rajya Sabha seat, Mayawati said she had quit the Rajya Sabha to fight for the Dalit rights and the battle has ended. She will keep away, say party sources. Perhaps, Mayawati is playing pricey. Mayawati has given any clue whether her party will support the Samajwadi Party in the Phulpur and Gorakhpur bye-polls.

New Solicitor-General ? Modi knows

The appointment of new Solicitor General has been hanging in the air for months after Ranjit Kumar quit the post months ago. Ranjit Kumar quit a couple of months after Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi quit without assigning any reasons. It is said both were uncomfortable and could have stayed on if persuaded. But finding successor to Ranjit Kumar has raised eyebrows in legal & political fraternity. After great difficulty the government was able to find new AG, K K Venugopal. But the new Solicitor General is nowhere in sight. It was speculated that Gujrat's Advocate General Kamal Trivedi be brought to Delhi. But the idea did not find favour with powers that be. Then the name of senior advocate Rakesh Trivedi cropped up. It is learnt that some of the senior advocates considered close to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley didn't find favour somewhere in the Law Ministry. The Law & IT Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad wouldn't say anything except that the new SG will be appointed shortly. There are a couple of vacancies for the post of Additional solicitor general as well. It now transpires that a section in the government favours promoting Tushar Mehta as the new Solicitor General. Mehta also hails from Gujrat and is ASG for almost three years now. It is said that the file pending somewhere in the Prime Minister's Office.

Rahul Gandhi to travel to West Asia

If Prime Minister Modi goes to Davos to address the plenary on January 24 to woo the global investors, Congress president Rahul Gandhi plans to travel to West Asian countries. It is learnt that he had finalized his plans to visit Dubai and Bahrain during the year-end. But he had to change his plans in view of delay in Parliament's Winter session dates. Secondly, he didn't want to give an elbow room to the BJP which always harps on his foreign visits. In fact, Rahul Gandhi is perfecting the art of Modi who garnered support from NRIs long before the announcement of Lok Sabha polls. This biggest constituency was never nursed by the Congress for the past 20 years by the Congress and even her mother Sonia Gandhi. He thinks its a barren land which was wisely cultivated by the BJP and its leader Modi. Realising the tremendous response that Rahul Gandhi received of his interaction at the Berkeley university back home in India, Rahul Gandhi has decided to target NRIs as a policy. Sam Pitroda is his foreign policy adviser and none in the foreign affairs cell of the AICC is aware of what's happening.