Bring on the brothers
They fought bitterly over family-controlled assets and even slugged it out in the Supreme Court. Despite such million-rupee fights, sometimes even the Ambani brothers agree to sit on the same side of the table. Mukesh and Anil — along with other captains of the industry — have been invited by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee for a meeting on August 1 to discuss the steps needed to rejuvenate the economy. The last time the Brothers Ambani were seen together was three years ago at BJP leader LK Advani’s residence when he had invited corporate captains to do more or less the same thing: discuss measures needed to boost the economy. Much water, however, has flowed under the bridge since then. Therefore, this meeting is naturally generating a lot of interest. For whatever it’s worth, the meeting is surely going to be a field day for economy analysts.
My chair, my candidate
Beleaguered Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa may not be averse to stepping down from the hot seat if the BJP agrees to put his favourite minister Shobha Karandlaje in it. The rumour is that the CM took his family members (more than 20) to Mauritius recently as he wanted to convince them that he must be allowed to make Karandlaje the next CM. Karandlaje has a clean image and the backing of the RSS. But BSY’s archrival, ex-Union minister Ananth Kumar, won’t let her take over, and state BJP chief ES Eshwarappa thinks he can be a “compromise” candidate. Clearly, competence is not an issue in such games.
Cool southern winds
Last week, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa despatched his New Delhi envoy Prasad Kariyawasam to Chennai to “congratulate” Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa for her electoral victory. This was the first such meeting between a Sri Lankan envoy and the CM in more than half a century. As the envoy explained what the president was doing to help displaced Tamils in the island, Jayalalithaa quizzed him on rehabilitation measures. But she did not say anything on the alleged ‘war crimes’ committed by Sri Lankan troops before they ended the war killing in 2009. Clearly, the poll victory has mellowed the fiery queen of Poes Garden.
It’s all in the parivar
BJP vice-president Shanta Kumar’s frontal attack on his own party, calling the BJP a “party of sons and daughters” in the context of Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, has more to do with his home state of Himachal Pradesh than the first saffron-ruled southern bastion, Karnataka. Kumar resents being sidelined ever since Himachal CM PK Dhumal displaced him and managed to rule since then. Dhumal’s son, Anurag Thakur, heads BJP’s youth wing.
Another feather in his cap?
With the Union home ministry backing the demand for the inclusion of sports as a new category for the Bharat Ratna, the buzz in the capital is that Sachin Tendulkar may be the first sportsperson to receive it. If that happens, it will break new grounds as far as the highest civilian honour goes. The average age of Bharat Ratna recipients is 79. Of the total 42 recipients, 11 received it posthumously. Tendulkar is 38 years old. The youngest person to receive the award till now is Indira Gandhi at the age of 54 in 1971, after the Bangladesh war.