Keeping tabs on the political grapevine.
Amma's surprise act
In his first visit outside Delhi, President Pranab Mukherjee went to Chennai and Tirupati last week. During a lunch hosted by Tamil Nadu governor K Rosaiah at Raj Bhavan, chief minister J Jayalalithaa was at her warmest. She not only chatted with Mukherjee but also with Union ministers Salman Khurshid, GK Vasan and Jayanthi Natarajan. This was the first time the Tamil Nadu chief minister has interacted with Congress ministers in this way. Until now, Jayalalithaa had always kept a distance from Mukherjee as he was thought to be close to her arch-enemy, DMK chief M Karunanidhi. In fact, along with Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik, Jayalalithaa had opposed his candidature in the presidential election. However, this time, the DMK chief did not call on Mukherjee and instead sent his son, MK Stalin, and TR Baalu to meet him at the Raj Bhavan. It may be recalled Mukherjee began his campaign in the presidential election from Chennai, by calling on Karunanidhi first.
Now some modifications
The leader of the Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Ajay Singh's reported praise for Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi during a three-day executive meeting of the Congress' state unit has angered many of his party members. In an attempt to calm them and deflect attention from the issue, the Congress general secretary in-charge of Madhya Pradesh, BK Hariprasad, gave a chance to the ruling BJP to attack the Congress. "Congress ka chowkidar to kya Congress ka kutta bhi Modi ko follow nahi karega (leave alone Congress's watchman, its dog will also not follow Modi)," he told party workers who were angry over Singh's praise for Modi's policy of connecting with people. After he made this comment, Madhya Pradesh BJP leaders asked Congress workers to seek an apology from Hariprasad for "comparing them with dogs".
Later, Singh, son of late Congress veteran Arjun Singh, denied having praised Modi. The denial has failed to satisfy some party members. A false warning
The Congress in Punjab went into a tizzy recently when a television channel claimed that senior leader Jagmeet Singh Brar had joined the Akali Dal. Interestingly, the name of Brar, a Congress Working Committee (CWC) member, is doing the rounds as one of the front-runners for the post of Punjab Congress president, if the central leadership decides to replace incumbent Captain Amarinder Singh. The state unit later found that some Congress workers from Muktsar district had joined the Akali Dal in presence of Punjab's deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. The Akali Dal had then claimed that the Congress workers who joined it were close to Brar and some of them were even his relatives. With relatives like these…
Her design debut
The cover of Union food minister KV Thomas and his wife Sherly's Onam and Ramzan greeting cards had their grand-daughter Gayathri Anthey's painting of pookkalams. A Class X student of Choice School in Kochi, Gayathri loves to paint these floral carpets that are laid out in Kerala during Onam, the festival of prosperity and harmony. However, as a way of caution, the cards did not bear any official emblem, lest the proud grandparent get into any trouble over propriety.