The storm before the storm
Did former Union textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran seek a month’s reprieve to put in his papers? It seems so.
On July 6, soon after the Congress core group ended its deliberations, Sharad Pawar apparently called him to inform that the PM wanted him to resign. Later, fellow DMK man TR Baalu, called to tell him that Pranab Mukherjee told him that Maran must quit, as the CBI had named him in the 2G status report.
An upset Maran said he would first talk to his grand-uncle M Karunanidhi. The next day, Karunanidhi told him to put in his papers. If there was one person who couldn’t hide his glee, it was Maran’s archrival and ex-telecom minister A Raja, who heard of the ‘development’ from his lawyers in Tihar.
Son rises in the east
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit Mukherjee is set to rise further in the Congress. After becoming an MLA in West Bengal, he is now likely to be made a general secretary in the party’s state unit. While a section of the party is upset with the way Mukherjee Sr is promoting his son, the top state leadership is ready to accommodate Abhijit in important ranks.
Surely, dynasty has nothing to do with it?
No more loose connections
Mobile phone jammers have been installed near the conference rooms where the meetings of the joint parliamentary committee (JPC) and public accounts committee (PAC) investigating into the 2G scam are being held. This has apparently been done at the behest of Congress members, who complained that their BJP counterparts were giving a blow-by-blow account of the proceedings to the media through SMSes.
A Congressman even claimed that some TV channels had reported about the JPC proceedings while the meetings were still in progress. What happened to good old closed-door meetings?
Puff, the tragic dragon
At a recent meeting of the CPI(M)’s Delhi leaders, most comrades were unhappy about former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee skipping the party’s stocktaking meeting at Hyderabad after the poll debacle.
It was then that CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat decided to lighten up the tense atmosphere with his wry sense of humour. Bhattacharjee is a heavy smoker and was facing health problems as a result, said Karat, adding that once a party meeting was held in smoke-covered Kolkata, Bhattacharjee was sure to attend it.
Anniversary at Tirupati
President Pratibha Patil celebrated her 52nd wedding anniversary in Hyderabad’s Rashtrapathi Nilayam last week with 60-odd relatives and friends. As this is her last year in office, the guest list included her school and college mates from Maharashtra.
Later, the guests and the prez went to Tirupati to witness a special puja — the ‘Kalyana Utsavam’ (celestial wedding) of Lord Balaji. We are yet to ascertain what assets this particular temple holds within its vaults.
The past meets the present
The new Union home secretary RK Singh, an IAS from the Bihar cadre, may owe his job to LK Advani. He was entrusted with the job of arresting Rath Yatra hero Advani in 1990. Later, when Advani became home minister, Singh’s name came up for deputation for the post of joint secretary.
Advani apparently brushed aside all objections, saying that in 1990 he was merely doing his duty. If Advani had put a spanner in Singh’s deputation in the home ministry back then, it’s unlikely that he would have got the top job today.