West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has skirted questions about her Prime Ministerial ambitions so far, at least in public. But it is not that she does not like to be talked about being one. The Trinamool Congress mouthpiece in its latest issue has published a huge report on the retirement speech of Calcutta High Court Chief Justice J N Patel at a function organised by Banerjee. In that speech, Patel, while praising Mukherjee, had said after a Bengali President, it was probably now time to have a Bengali Prime Minister as well. While he did not explicitly mention Banerjee as the potential PM, the party magazine did not fail to draw the obvious conclusion, and headlined its report accordingly. Just a few weeks ago, Banerjee, for the umpteenth time, had sidestepped a question about whether she would like to become the Prime Minister. But party workers are quite enthusiastic that after the next elections, their leader would surely emerge as one of the strongest contenders for the country's top job.
POLITICIANS are using the auspicious occasions of ongoing festivities to launch their pet projects. On the last day of Navratri on Tuesday, the Samajwadi Party laid the foundation stone of the party's new central office in the Vasant Vihar locality. The honours were done by the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in the presence of senior party leaders Ram Gopal Yadav and Shivpal Yadav. Meanwhile, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has requested Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to inaugurate a new dairy factory at Dudmotisagar near Dharuhera on Vijay Dashmi on Wednesday. Hooda, in fact, has offered that he would come to Pawar's residence in Delhi and the two could then drive together to the venue for the inauguration.
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