No longer holding back
Former PM Manmohan Singh is a regular in Parliament these days. He sits through the discussions and question hour and also provides soundbites to the media when reporters approach him. This is in sharp contrast to his time as PM when he often maintained a stoic silence on critical issues. Many Congress leaders have increased interactions with Singh after his daughter Daman Singh revealed that her father is going to write a book. Be nice, memoir in the works.
In sync with Washington
The United States is earnestly wooing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, praising his vision for the economy and suggesting that the latter’s development policies resemble those of President Barack Obama. US secretary of commerce Penny Pritzker told Modi during her visit that she had an ‘Open for business’ signboard at her office and appreciated that the PM’s policies also sent the same message. US secretary of state John Kerry joined in terming the PM’s slogan of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas as a “great vision”. Flattery can sometimes get you somewhere.
Camera, lights, Parliament
Mithun Chakraborty is rarely seen in the Rajya Sabha. The CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury was apparently responsible for the Trinamool Congress MP’s attendance during the insurance Bill debate. Yechury asked Derek O’Brien if the TMC would turn out in full strength, but the latter assured only 10 of the party’s 12 MPs as Kunal Ghosh was in jail and Chakraborty hardly ever turned up. Yechury threatened not to support any TMC initiative after which the party leadership forced the actor to turn up. Perhaps Didi convinced Dada.
Dine and ditch
Former Lok Sabha MP Avtar Singh Bhadana attended the Iftar hosted by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and made it a point to sit at the high table along with Sonia, RJD chief Lalu Prasad, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav and NCP’s Tariq Anwar. This annoyed other leaders who were themselves keen on joining the exalted company. But the real surprise came a few days later when Bhadana resigned from the Congress. The buzz is that he is joining Om Prakash Chautala’s Indian National Lok Dal. The meal was good, but mithai was elsewhere.