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The buzz

As reports of serious differences between top BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley over the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) issue were doing the rounds, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hosted a dinner for Swaraj and her family at his residence.

india Updated: Mar 21, 2011 22:28 IST

Dishing out some diplomacy
As reports of serious differences between top BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley over the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) issue were doing the rounds, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hosted a dinner for Swaraj and her family at his residence. The new-found bonhomie was the result of Swaraj's "forget and move on" line on the PM's role in the appointment of PJ Thomas as the CVC for which she was severely criticised by her party. Singh was most courteous to his guests. He cancelled all his engagements and did not meet Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan who had sought an appointment over the CVC issue. The BJP may find this a bit difficult to swallow.

With help from friends
Talking about bonhomie, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and state Congress president Suresh Pachauri share an excellent rapport these days. The two have obliged each other in the recent past. Chouhan first sought Pachauri's help in putting an end to violent attacks on RSS offices by Congress workers recently. The mediation was done

by a state minister. Chouhan soon reciprocated when he accommodated Pachauri in his official helicopter from Churhat, where they had gone to attend veteran Congress leader Arjun Singh's funeral, to Bhopal as the state Congress chief had to attend his nephew's wedding the same evening. No permanent enemies or friends in politics, it seems.

Becoming a homely sort AIADMK chief
J Jayalalithaa's decision to choose Srirangam to contest this time hasn't surprised her partymen. After Tirupati, Srirangam is the most revered place for Srivaishnavites (followers of Lord Vishnu). An ardent devotee of the town's deity, Lord Ranganatha, she had visited the temple a couple of months ago. Last August, she had told a Tiruchi rally: "I feel like I am addressing a meeting in my hometown. After all, my forefathers hail from Srirangam". She's not home alone here.

Some advance planning here
External affairs minister SM Krishna had a surprise in store for the leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley. Last week, on the day when the minister had to make a statement in the Upper House on the Libyan evacuation and pirates holding Indians hostage - for which BJP was attacking the government - Krishna called up Jaitley, went to the latter's office and briefed him before he went to the House. Coincidence or not, the Opposition didn't go after the government in the Rajya Sabha the way it did in Lok Sabha. A close call, that.

In the division bench
Upset over BJP president Nitin Gadkari ticking her off at his press conference for her tweets that went against the party line on the PM, a sulking Sushma Swaraj got upset with a TV journalist. She upbraided him, saying, "You must not look at two Opposition leaders (she and Arun Jaitley) differently." She wanted to skip a BJP election meeting but LK Advani cheered her up, saying she has already made history on the CVC issue. Her stand had been upheld by the Supreme Court. And quite a tweet feat that was.

A loose connection or two
When Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley held a joint press conference after the PM's statement on WikiLeaks recently, Jaitley complained they did not get a chance to question the PM after his statement. As soon as he stopped, Swaraj told mediapersons that the presiding officers of the two Houses had at least prevented the "disconnect" coming to the fore again. She reminded journalists that they were used to emphasising what they saw as the disconnect and had lost the opportunity this time.