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A loss of face

Political circles in the capital are surprised by the guerrilla tactics being adopted by the CPI(M)’s central leadership against its West Bengal unit following its defeat in the state’s civic elections.

india Updated: Jun 07, 2010 22:44 IST

Political circles in the capital are surprised by the guerrilla tactics being adopted by the CPI(M)’s central leadership against its West Bengal unit following its defeat in the state’s civic elections. A day after Mamata Banerjee humiliated the Left, a top CPI(M) leader gave a lengthy interview to a news agency slamming the Bengal government’s functioning for the loss, but chose to remain anonymous. Reporters were left guessing who the leader was, since even the Maoist leader Kishenji shows his back when he talks to the media for authenticity.

They’re losing their cool

Babus working in government offices on the Central Secretariat stretch — including Shastri Bhawan, Rail Bhawan, Nirman Bhawan — are an unhappy lot these days. To beautify the outer façade of these buildings in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games, the Urban Development Ministry has directed the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) officials to remove all air-conditioners, air-coolers, wires and pipes installed or hanging from building walls facing the main road. The ministry feels this mars the aesthetics of the surroundings and might be an unpleasant sight for tourists during the games. At a time when the mercury continues to hover above 40 degree Celsius in the capital, this hasn’t gone down well with the babus, accustomed as they are to the comfort of ACs and coolers. Some are even planning to go on leave till the ACs are reinstalled.

All clock-watchers now

It’s normal for CBI officers to work overtime. But now they are facing tough times competing with their own top boss — Ashwani Kumar. They sometimes receive replies to mails from Kumar as early as

4 a.m. The director not only clears his files in the wee hours of the morning — say between 3.30 a.m. and 4.30 a.m., but also, at times, he doesn’t hesitate to call his colleagues on their cellphones as early as 7.30 a.m. Well, no doubt who’s the boss here.

No marching orders here

It took the Law Minister and Congress in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, Veerappa Moily, about six hours to deny that Kadapa MP Jaganmohan Reddy had been given the permission to go ahead with his ‘Odarpu Yatra’. Moily had initially refused to comment on his meeting with Jagan that came after Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee denied an audience to the defiant son of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy. Jagan’s claim that he’d got the green signal from the Congress took the party top brass by surprise. Moily was asked to clarify the matter. Apparently, Moily, who is said to be ‘too soft’ on Jagan, then called up the Kadapa MP and pulled him up for ‘putting his job at risk’ by making such claims.

Not really happy holidays

Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmad is heading to Canada on a family holiday. Being a prominent Muslim face, Ahmad was among the leaders in the race for the Bihar Congress president’s post. However, it was Mehboob Ali Kaiser, a dark horse, who finally won the race. Apparently, Ahmad had decided to go on a vacation to the cooler climes of Canada much before the announcement was made and also since the Congress high command was taking time in deciding on the change of leadership in Bihar, following serious differences between Anil Sharma and Jagdish Tytler.