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Classical case of concern

Tamil Nadu CM M Karunanidhi thought he could be by his daughter Kanimozhi’s side when she appeared before the special CBI judge for the first time.

india Updated: May 09, 2011 21:25 IST

Classical case of concern
Tamil Nadu CM M Karunanidhi thought he could be by his daughter Kanimozhi’s side when she appeared before the special CBI judge for the first time. His aides had even thought of an official reason to be in the capital — President Pratibha Patil was to honour Tamil scholars of the ‘classical language form’. But his sons dissuaded him from doing so, saying it could “complicate” matters. With the DMK circles abuzz with Karunanidhi’s concern for his daughter, the DMK chief thought of clearing the air by writing in party organ, Murasoli, that he wasn’t thinking about Kanimozhi but semmozhi (classical language). He’s certainly got a way with words.

Taking things sitting down
Diplomats found themselves in a musical chair race at a function organised at Vigyan Bhavan last week to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore. Many diplomats were left confused after they found others had taken the seats reserved for them in the front row. The Chinese ambassador to India, Zhang Yan, chose not to kick up a fuss and quietly took a seat in a back row. British high commissioner to India, Richard Stagg, was also among the diplomats who had to struggle to find seats. Backbench diplomacy is in vogue, it would seem.

Specialist in uniting a unit
The Congress is upbeat over the victory in the Gandhinagar corporation elections. Many in the party describe it as the ‘beginning of the end’ for Gujarat CM Narendra Modi’s rule. The win even prompted Congress president Sonia Gandhi to call up state leaders and congratulate them personally. The central leadership is giving all credit to newly- appointed party in-charge Mohan Prakash, who had helped the party win five out of the six seats in the legislative council elections in Jammu & Kashmir too. He’s definitely come to the aid of the party.

Not understanding the problem
Andhra Pradesh CM N Kirankumar Reddy’s political stakes in the result of the by-poll to the Kadappa Lok Sabha seat is increasing by the day. With a huge turnout, rebel leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is trying to show that his fledgling party is a force to reckon with. Though 14 ministers were deployed to boost the Congress’s campaign against Jagan, the leaders of the anti-Kiran camp say the allegation of an “understanding” between the CM and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu has sullied the party’s image. The CM is, however, waiting for the ballot box to open to decide his next strategy. The CM and rebel are clearly polls apart.

A new Marathi manoos chapter
Rural development minister Vilasrao Deshmukh doesn’t seem to mind being surrounded by the Maratha brigade. The staff attached to the minister’s office has just one non-Marathi on board. Lately, a hunt was initiated for an appropriate officer to replace Amita Sharma who, after holding the charge of joint secretary in charge of the flagship MNREGA scheme for seven long years, was transferred to her parent state of Madhya Pradesh. The choice eventually fell on DK Jain. Jain is a Maharashtra cadre officer. A parochial state of affairs.

Not a federal case for us
Robert Muller, the FBI director, cancelled his trip to India and other countries last week owing to security reasons and work pressure back home. But security seems to have figured on top of his mind when he shelved plans to visit India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Denmark. Meanwhile, New Delhi is also thinking about postponing the meeting of the US-India High Technology Cooperation Group, which was being planned this month, as the US officials get busy with the developments after the death of Osama bin Laden. Homeland security comes first, obviously.

The predecessor’s good offices
Tourism minister Subodh Kant Sahay hasn’t had the opportunity to function from his office for a single day in the last three-and-a-half months. The reason is Kumari Selja, his predecessor. While she still held the tourism portfolio, Selja, on the advice of ‘vaastu’ experts, had ordered a massive renovation of her office at Paryatan Bhawan. But then the January 19 reshuffle of the Union Cabinet happened and Sahay came in as the new tourism minister. Those who have had a peek at the office, insist Sahay will have no reason to complain for the wait. A package deal really.