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Out in the cold

india Updated: Nov 09, 2009 21:32 IST

With assembly elections scheduled for next year in Bihar, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Tariq Anwar has begun to nurse ambitions of a possible re-entry into the Congress. He has even held a series of meetings with senior Congress leaders, including Ahmed Patel and Digvijay Singh, recently. But he hasn’t made any headway with Jagdish Tytler — party general secretary incharge of Bihar. Incumbent state party chief Anil Sharma — known as a Tytler protégé — is said to be hell-bent on blocking Anwar’s re-entry into the party.

Take it as red

The Left parties may be struggling to retain their eroding base in West Bengal and Kerala. But global issues continue to be high on the agenda. The CPI(M) and the CPI are for the first time jointly hosting a world communist conference in the capital from November 20-22. It is expected to be attended by over 100 communist parties from 87 countries.

A matter of size

A senior NCP leader had sought an appointment with a top Congress functionary for talks on government formation in Maharashtra. The Congressman responded after many hours. When asked about the delay, the NCP leader remarked: “We are a small party. The Congress is a big party with stakes across the country. They have to deal with a larger number of issues. We are just a one-state centric group. Absolutely, no hard feelings.”

Karat on crime time

CPI(M) chief Prakash Karat would win hands down if there were a contest to judge who owns India's best collection of crime fiction. Many people frequently pump Karat for information on the best books in the market. He recently told a friend about Swedish writer Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy: “I loved part one, but I had to read part two very slowly because I didn’t want to finish it till part three was released.”

Upon his word

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram spares no pains when reaching out to people. Last week he was invited by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind to address a predominantly Urdu-speaking congregation of half-a-million clerics. The minister ensured that an Urdu translation was available, pausing after every third sentence for the translation to be read out.

Some searching questions

G Janardhan Reddy, the face of the dissidents out to finish Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, found the helicopter carrying him from Bellary surrounded by Andhra Pradesh sleuths when it landed at Hyderabad airport. They searched the aircraft without saying a word. Reddy, who is Karnataka tourism minister, was en route to Delhi to meet central BJP leaders. Quizzed by a BJP leader on the episode, Reddy dismissed it lightly. The grapevine is that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah could be gunning for the Bellary Reddys who were close to the late YS Rajasekhara Reddy.