There was a time in the 1990s when Sharad Pawar as chief minister of Maharashtra would trust no one but family and close friends in the power and irrigation departments. Sujata Anandan writes.
Not very long ago, a top BJP functionary told me that the media were barking up the wrong tree by insisting on looking at Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi only through the prism of his communal credentials. Sujata Anandan
As long as I had known, until 2004, Bal Thackeray always opened his election rallies at Chowpatty and closed them at Shivaji Park – he was superstitious. Thackeray believed that the combination, along with a particular stone used to crack coconuts at the first rally, was lucky for him and his party.
Sometime in the early 1990s when the Shiv Sena and the BJP were yet in the opposition, both at the Centre and in Maharashtra, then state finance minister Ramrao Adik had accorded a lot of concessions to the tobacco industry in one of his annual budgets.
Several weeks before the irrigation scam broke, I was told by an unimpeachable source that former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar’s war chest is now bigger than that of Sharad Pawar and he does not really need his uncle for anything anymore ---- he was ready to strike out on his own. Sujata Anandan writes.
You have to hand it to Sharad Pawar - he sure knows how to have his cake and eat it too. He also knows how to kill two birds with a single stone. Sujata Anandan writes.
"What will India do if the Pakistani army goes for first strike?" a reporter in Bombay had asked Sharad Pawar soon after he became Union defence minister in 1991. Sujata Anandan writes.
I must say Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray is delightfully obtuse. Or else he is deliberately disingenuous. Sujata Anandan
The official website of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena says Raj Thackeray’s grandfather, Prabodhankar, was born at Panvel in Raigad district. That’s as close to Bombay as it gets. But that is also as close to a lie as can be told.
The Shiv Sena, as is well known, is a creation of the Congress – Bal Thackeray could never have come as far as he has if in the initial years of his career he had not received active encouragement and funding from Congress stalwarts in Maharashtra who had a vested interest in boosting his pro-Marathi and anti-Communist agenda. Sujata Anandan
As chief minister of Maharashtra, Sushilkumar Shinde, now the Union home minister, had once tied up the saffron parties in knots. Sujata Anandan writes.
On Monday, even as the nation was celebrating Id, some Muslim groups in Bombay sent out an SMS to fellow Muslims: "Musalman bhai-behnon se appeal hai ki Girgaon Chowpatty mein jaane se parhej karein…,’’ etc.
The violence in Mumbai was yet another attempt to create a communal riot. Sujata Anandan
Technology, particularly the internet and smart phones, has come as a boon to humankind. But it can also be a bane, if left open to abuse and misuse. That is what seems to have happened in the lead-up to the violence at Azad Maidan. Sujata Anandan reports.
At the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) co-ordination committee meeting last weekend, NCP president Sharad Pawar raised the issue of frequent terrorist attacks in Maharashtra and seemed to point fingers at the state’s home minister for his alleged incompetence.