It's all on the house
President Pratibha Patil has over a year to go before she demits office. But she is said to be keen that the government finalises her post-retirement accommodation soon. She wants it ready by the time she leaves Rashtrapati Bhavan. She may like to settle down in Pune, says the grapevine. Every retiring president is entitled to a house in a city of their choice. It must be that feeling of being at home.
Son sung true for him
The influence of Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh on some of the recent appointments in the party is quite evident. He got three of his close confidants appointed to prime posts in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. First, Union tribal affairs minister Kantilal Bhuria was named the Madhya Pradesh Congress president, then came the appointment of Ajay Singh, son of late Arjun Singh, as the CLP leader in MP followed by Nand Kumar Patel's elevation as the Chhattisgarh unit chief. The rise and rise of Singh, who has also emerged as the chief political advisor to heir apparent Rahul Gandhi, is giving sleepless nights to many of his party colleagues. His hour in the son, sorry sun, clearly.
Not a safe haven
The strife in many countries is making life tough for diplomats who are used to comforts. The Indian envoy to the Ivory Coast has fared the worst. Shammi Jain was inside her house that was targeted by rockets for two days in the war-torn country. She took shelter under a table until the French authorities rescued her in a UN helicopter. She should be feeling lucky, given that the Japanese envoy locked himself in the strongroom of his residence and was rescued in a French commando operation that had two casualties before the ambassador was pulled out. Not the high table here.
Qualified for the post
The government has set the ball rolling to appoint the next Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) and the CBI's chief AP Singh must be praying that the process doesn't get embroiled in controversy again. The Supreme Court had struck down PJ Thomas' appointment last month. Singh's anxiety stems from the number of vacancies in the anti-corruption agency, which can only be filled on the recommendation of a committee headed by the CVC. The CBI is working at half its strength at the level of special and additional directors and has only two-third of the approved number of superintendents of police in place. Not that Singh is going to find officers to fill all the posts at one go, but every additional officer willing to join the agency would help.
A share in the sellers' market
Some corporate houses under the CBI's scanner and left out of the first chargesheet in the 2G scam wanted the agency to include their role in the first chargesheet. Why? They wanted to put an end to the 'speculative stories' from spreading in the market, which were hurting their share prices. They are ready for one big 'zor ka jhatka' that they feel they will withstand. But 'zor ka jhatka dheere se lage' is getting too much for them. Share and share alike is the credo.
Taking note of the vote
Superstar Rajinikanth decided to give an explanation to Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi after some TV channels showed him voting for the AIADMK during the polling. Rajini met him during a film screening and told the DMK chief that the cameramen had insisted that he go for a 'retake' while pressing the EVM button and accidentally his hands pressed the two leaves symbol. Karunanidhi is said to have accepted his version. Leave it to fate then.