Was it a bird? Was it a plane? No, it was former Home Minister Shivraj Patil who was spotted at the meet on internal security in Delhi over the weekend. Now Punjab governor, Patil attended the conference as the administrator of Chandigarh, a Union Territory. Unlike in the good old days as home minister when he would be the helmsman at such meetings, Patil was the third last speaker on Sunday. What, however, hasn’t changed was his ability to hold forth. Patil went into the details of how things have improved on the security front in recent years. Was that a not-so-backhanded compliment targeted at himself?
Jaya’s creative overtures
A guided missile directs a warhead at its chosen target. The question is whom Jaya Prada — described by Samajwadi Party general secretary Mohan Singh as “Amar Singh’s guided missile” after she was expelled from the SP — is gliding towards. The buzz is that the lady has been attempting to warm up to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee. While Banerjee is known for her fondness for ‘creative types’, Didi is unlikely to welcome Jaya Prada with open arms, despite the latter having acted (along with Amar Singh) in last year’s Bengali hit film Shesh Sanghat (Final Conflict). But that isn’t stopping the leading lady in the 1982 hit film Kaamchor from building contacts with people close to Mamatadi. Writing a poem or two now could help.
The high visibility CM
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) may be the best thing since lachcha ki paratha. But at a function marking the fourth anniversary of the programme, the only chief minister attending was Haryana’s Bhupinder Singh Hooda. He didn’t find any other CM in the hall, but was visibly pleased to find that Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was supposed to sit next to him. Gehlot never turned up. But there was some consolation. As an official pointed out, the prime minister and Congress president must have noticed Hooda’s presence. It was very hard to miss him.
Knock, knock, who’s there?
It required the intervention of the Supreme Court of the Congress president to quell a rebellion in the UPA’s law ministry. A senior official, unhappy about being denied the post of secretary, knocked at the doors of Sonia Gandhi, to inform her about the grave injustice meted out to him. His prayers were answered and justice was swift: he was transferred to the Law Commission — which he gladly accepted, since he was not willing to report to a secretary in the ministry, who was several years junior to him. Oh, these hierarchy issues!
Law ministry, law ministry who?
Some more gossip from the law ministry. Congress MP P.J. Kurien is proving to be a hard nut to crack. The veteran leader, known for his skills of running the Rajya Sabha as a member of the panel of presiding officers, is also heading the select committee of the House to examine the Commercial Courts bill. Not convinced with the answers, Kurien summoned some of the senior law ministry officials to explain the need for commercial divisions in high courts. M’lord awaits answers.