Print Edition: December 16, 2007

Basic skill

To gather a crowd is a basic qualification for a grassroots politician. Panchayati Raj Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar is going one step ahead—getting them to Delhi. And no small pack—he has invited all the village heads across the country later next month.

The trouble is not just from the bureaucracy— his ministry is not keen since it is hardly capable of managing 250,000 people in peak winter; even the states are not keen on this initiative.

And getting his party colleague and Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dixit to help in the initiative was a difficult task—she turned down the offer twice.

Goals galore

Managing contradictions is not an easy task. Scoring political points alongside is even more difficult.

On the one hand, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora has ensured that a Group of Ministers be formed to look into the issue of pricing of petroleum products in the wake of rising crude oil prices.

On the other hand, last week, he proclaimed in Parliament that no price hikes will be undertaken. Even better, he announced that he was only implementing the decision of the Chairperson of the UPA alliance.

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