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Keeping tabs on the political grapevine

Air-India chairperson and managing director (CMD) Arvind Jadhav had a tough time last week when he faced angry parliamentarians at the Parliamentary Committee on Petitions.

india Updated: Jul 18, 2011 21:42 IST

Plane avoidance
Air-India chairperson and managing director (CMD) Arvind Jadhav had a tough time last week when he faced angry parliamentarians at the Parliamentary Committee on Petitions. Being under pressure is par for the course for Air-India CMDs. But not only did Jadhav face a barrage of questions on why Air-India's sick, but members like Gurudas Dasgupta, Jagdambika Pal and Anant Geete accused him of ignoring the MPs and not picking up their phone calls. Sensing the VIP lynch mob, Jadhav promptly said, "I apologise" and promised to attend calls from parliamentarians in the future. If his number isn't busy, that is.

When the tough get going
National Security Guard (NSG) commando-turned-Lok Sabha Congress MP Kamal Kishore has not forgotten his tough guy skills. Last week, Kishore had come to North Block to meet finance minister Pranab Mukherjee to express his unhappiness about the Cabinet reshuffle. He physically pushed aside Mukherjee's gatekeepers and forced himself inside the minister's room after Mukherjee finished his previous meeting. While the aides fumed, Mukherjee, not knowing what had just happened outside, chatted with the MP and discussed the political situation of Uttar Pradesh. Where the Congress does need to flex many muscles.

Out of court settlement
Though she may have won the Tamil Nadu elections convincingly, chief minister J Jayalalithaa had to skip an event at the Madras high court because some advocates objected to her sharing the dais with judges even as she faces corruption cases. This is the third time the AIADMK chief has been forced to avoid a court function as a chief minister. She has been ordered to appear in person in Bangalore on July 27 in the disproportionate assets case. That's at least some kind of function in the court, right?

Be afraid, be very afraid
There are some interesting twists in the resignation drama of Congress MPs from Telangana. At the time of submitting his resignation from the Rajya Sabha, senior Congress leader K Keshava Rao, who is at the forefront of the Telangana agitation, wanted to avoid a meeting with vice-president and Rajya Sabha chairperson Hamid Ansari. But little did he realise that Ansari was in his office. The moment he came to know, Rao made a dash and handed over his resignation letter to one of Ansari's aides. The officer on special duty (OSD) to the VP asked him to hand over the resignation letter directly to Ansari but Rao didn't even wait to listen and rushed out. Once out of the building, Rao was at his aggressive best, warning the Centre to initiate the process for the creation of Telangana state immediately. After running away from Ansari, such courage!

'Go softly' into the good night
A report on illegal mining by Karnataka lokayukta Santosh Hegde before his term ends this month is giving chief minister BS Yeddyurappa sleepless nights again. Hegde has refused to say whether this report would implicate the controversial Reddy brothers who are ministers in BSY's Cabinet. But the outgoing lokayukta's statement — "I was told by BJP leader Dhananjay Kumar to go soft on chief minister BS Yeddyurappa" — has put the CM in the dock.

A new environment altogether
As is wont when people take over a person's job, new environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan wants a lot of changes from how things were in the ministry under her predecessor Jairam Ramesh. While policy and implementation will be looked into, the first thing to be replaced is reportedly Ramesh's old transparent glass door in the ministerial chamber in Paryavaran Bhavan.