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Despite belonging to different parties, they form a ‘cosy club’ of parliamentarians

These leaders are known for their bonding over dinners, lunches during sessions. The hardcore politicians view this group differently. “This group of relatively younger MPs showcases the typical fun-loving and freeflowing new generation of politicians ,” a senior MP said.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Mar 23, 2020, 08.08 AM IST
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Agencies
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These ‘club’ members, some other MPs say, are known for some ‘behavioural pattern’.
NEW DELHI: BJP MP Dushyant Singh and his mother Vasundhara Raje testing negative for Covid-19 after attending the now infamous ‘Kanika Kapoor party’ in Lucknow would have brought relief to those MPs who had entered Dushyant’s orbit. Yet, the episode has brought into focus an informal group of MPs –– nick-named by some fellow MPs as the “cosy club” of Parliament –– comprising mostly the second-generation leaders and known for their bonding over dinners and lunches during sessions.

About 10 of this group are in self quarantine, courtesy a dinner hosted by DMK MP Kanimozhi that Dushyanat had ‘graced’ days after his appearance at Kanika’s party.

These ‘young’ (though most of them are in their 50s) MPs include Supriya Sule (Sharad Pawar’s daughter), Neeraj Shekhar (son of the late Chadrashekhar), Kanimozhi (daughter of the late M Karuananidhi), Anurag Thakur (son of PK Dhumal), Gaurav Gogoi (son of Tarun Gogoi), Anupriya Patel (daughter of the late Sone Lal Patel) and others. The non-dynast MPs of the ‘club’ include Nishikant Dubey, Meenakshi Lekhi, Shivkumar Udasi, Kirron Kher, Kamlesh Paswan, and, the ‘new entrants’ –– Hibi Eden and Manickam Tagore.

The hardcore politicians view this group differently. “This group of relatively younger MPs showcases the typical fun-loving and freeflowing new generation of politicians ,” a senior MP said.

“Since most of these younger MPs are scions and friends of influential political families, in reality, this group also forms a kind of cartel that skilfully melts down ideological and political barriers through their networking,” said another.

Sources among these MPs said the attendees at the dinner hosted by Kanimozhi last Wednesday “in honour of her husband who had come down to Delhi” included Dushyant, Sule, Thakur, Gogoi, Dubey, Shekhar, Eden and Tagore –– all now in self-isolation. “It was just a small gathering of less than 10 people. None of us, not even Dushyant, then knew Kanika had coronavirus,” one of them told ET.

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“For us, last Thursday and Friday were like any other day in Parliament, including interacting with MPs and journalists in the Central Hall. All of us came to know about Kanika having coronavirus only by Friday evening,” another MP said.

These ‘club’ members, some other MPs say, are known for some ‘behavioural pattern’. “Despite belonging to different parties, they make it a point to subtly give nods of appreciation whenever one of them speaks in the House for or against any issue and they are quite protective of each other. When Thakur was attacked by opposition for his ‘goli maro’ comments, most ‘club’ MPs were spotted in a glum mood in the House,” an MP from the South said.

Once outside LS, these MPs are known to occupy the two back-row corner benches of Central Hall, spending time in merry-making, often breaking into boisterous laughter and nibbling on snacks brought by the ‘club’ members. BJD’s Bhartruhari Mahtab, who often occupies a backrow Central Hall seat, just an aisle away from the members’ corner, is known to ‘push them back’ whenever they sway to his side. The Covid-19 scare notwithstanding, many think this cross-party ‘club’ is here to stay.
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