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Always at the Reddy

Union Minister Jaipal Reddy is turning out to be a long-distance runner. This year, the Congress leader is all set to match the record of former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and other Telugu bittas by joining the ranks of the longest serving legislators/parliamentarians from Andhra Pradesh.

india Updated: Jan 04, 2010 21:27 IST

Always at the Reddy
Union Minister Jaipal Reddy is turning out to be a long-distance runner. This year, the Congress leader is all set to match the record of former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and other Telugu bittas by joining the ranks of the longest serving legislators/parliamentarians from Andhra Pradesh. The man, who won the Best Parliamentarian award in 1998, started his electoral innings four decades ago when he was first elected to the assembly in 1969. Rao, on his part, had put in 41 years in the assembly and Parliament. But AIMIM’s Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi will still remain a step ahead with an uninterrupted run from 1962 till 2004. Politics and nature permitting, the Lok Sabha member may well beat that record.

Not in the bag
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal may never have thought his bag with cash and some other items
would get stolen — that too in Sweden. On a trip to Sweden some months ago, the minister went shopping. When it was time to
pay, he realised his bag had been stolen. A complaint was filed with the local police but it didn’t help.

A study in progress
It’s back to the classroom for some senior diplomats from January 3 and 6. This is part of the new service rules that officials have to go for a short-term course before being upgraded to the next level. So, the 1980 and 81 batch IFS officers — many of them senior joint secretaries — including Vishnu Prakash, the face of MEA and the official spokesperson, will be attending the course. They are almost ready for promotion as additional secretaries.

Song sung blue for Uma
Firebrand Hindutva sadhvi Uma Bharti’s artistic tastes also match her political alienation at the moment. In a recent interaction, she was asked a question very different from her plans to return to the Hindutva fold. The question: Which is your favourite song? Uma’s reply: I love ghazals, but my favourite is Mehdi Hasan’s rendition of Ahmed Faraz’s Ranjish hi sahi, dil hee dukhane ke liye aa; aa phir se mujhe chhor ke jaane ke liye aa. Loosely translated, it sounds like her message to her former party, the BJP: You may hate me, but please return if only to hurt me again… if only to abandon me again!

Remains of the way
Serious though they are, corruption charges against Jharkhand politicians can lead to unintended humour. When the NDA convenor invited its new choice for chief ministership of the state Shibu Soren, a question related to corruption showed this irony. Soren was asked: “Is there anything left in Jharkhand after Madhu Koda’s corrupt regime?” Soren replied with a smile: “Bahut kuch bacha hai Jharkhand mein. Koda thode hi naa sab kucch kha gaya.” (A lot remains in Jharkhand; Koda did not eat up everything). As Soren was about to head a newly-created state riddled with political corruption, people who saw the irony burst into laughter.

At a safe distance
Amid all the hungama over Telangana and the claims by different sides over Hyderabad, one political leader is silently watching the developments from a distance. Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi has so far chosen to stay away from the controversy and refused to comment. He is keenly watching “which way the wind blows”.

From cheers to fears
Every time the Centre makes some announcement on the Telangana issue, jubilation erupts in warring political camps in Andhra Pradesh. Soon after Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s December 23 statement, the pro-Telangana Congress MPs welcomed it. They felt that the statement talked of consultations and not consensus on the formation of Telangana. But, they were forced to retract after other pro-Telangana parties slammed the Centre. To be a step ahead, the Congress MPs faxed their resignation letters to party president Sonia Gandhi to express their opposition.