Missing the big ticket
Bihar is due for assembly elections this year and Congress ticket-seekers from the state have already begun making a beeline to the AICC headquarters in Delhi. The office is abuzz with activities as party workers and prospective candidates line up to meet top leaders, including Bihar in-charge Jagdish Tytler, in the hope of getting a ticket. On seeing this, a senior leader from Bihar remarked: “This is called fate. Those deciding candidates were themselves denied a ticket,” he said, apparently referring to Tytler who pulled out of the 2009 Lok Sabha elections in the wake of the controversy over his alleged involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
She took it to heart
An industrialist asked Sushma Swaraj a rather puzzling question at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry annual general meet in Delhi, but her witty rejoinder sent the audience into peals of laughter. The question: my heart says I should support the BJP, but my brain tells me not to. How would you address this dilemma in many a BJP supporter? Pat came Swaraj’s reply: “Dimaag kee to sunnee hi chahiye, par kabhi kabhi dil kee
sunnee chaihiye. Aap 364 din dimaag kee sunein, par matdaan ke din dil kee sunein (One should go by one’s brain, but also sometimes by one’s heart. Listen to your brain all through the year, but only to your heart on polling day).”
A bitter aftertaste
Mahila Congress president Prabha Thakur recently hosted a lunch for the media at her residence. Thakur, a Rajya Sabha member from Rajasthan, had ensured that sumptuous Rajasthani dishes dominated the menu. The dessert too had a Rajasthani flavour. Many Congress leaders were also present. As one such leader was offered a sweet dish, he shot back: “Na to mein meetha khata hoon aur na meetha bolta hoon (Neither do I have sweets nor do I speak sweetly).”
Colour of solidarity
Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar managed to surprise sailors when he embarked on the Navy’s sole aircraft carrier INS Viraat last week. Kumar was sporting a sky blue shirt, almost the same shade as the uniform worn by the sailors. A Navy official said he could have passed off as a sailor. Kumar was on the warship to kick off the Navy’s annual war games codenamed TROPEX (theatre-level readiness operational exercises). The Navy is carrying out joint manoeuvres with the air force and coast guard off the Visakhapatnam coast. Su-30 fighters, Jaguars, Kamov-31 airborne early warning helicopters and mid-air refuellers are taking part in the exercise.
Given a rejection slip
Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee was left red-faced about the absence of party members when CPM leader Basudev Acharya made an allegation about the TMC’s Maoist links in the Lok Sabha the other day. She is said to have come down severely on party MPs for the lapse. Party spokesman Sudip Bandopadhyaya got
back at Acharya on Friday after amendments moved to the Presidential address by Acharya were put to voice vote and declared as “rejected” by Speaker Meira Kumar, Bandopadhyaya commented: “Now Basudev Acharya has also been rejected!” Needless to say, the comment provoked laughter in the house.