Getting a real move-on
The fact that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister P Chida-mbaram are on the same page on taking fast decisions was evident once again at last week’s cabinet meeting. When the issue of the spectrum pricing came up for discussion, one of the newly-inducted cabinet ministers intervened and suggested that it would need to consider vast “political and legal ramifications”. According to sources, the PM looked at PC and asked what should be done. The FM replied: “We need to take a decision today”. Singh didn’t wait for any more interventions and called upon his colleagues to approve the proposal. A quick fix for the government.
Bringing a real gift
When West Bengal panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee came to meet rural development minister Jairam Ramesh recently in Delhi, he brought good cheer all around. At a time when things have been icy between the Congress and the Trinamool Congress, this came at an opportune moment. First, two boxes of Kolkata’s best sondesh was handed over to Jairam Ramesh, then a raw silk shawl and finally, a saree for Ramesh’s wife Jayashree. Mukherjee also didn’t fail to mention that he has especially come to Delhi only to meet Ramesh. Clearly, both leaders were consciously trying to mend fences after the Trinamool’s withdrawal of support from the Centre. Sweet nothings it would seem.
Striking the right notes
Senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandes, known for his prowess on the harmonica played the instrument at an election meeting in Gujarat last week to drive home a point that his party is going to make a comeback in the upcoming polls. Soon after finishing his election speech at the rally, Fernandes took out the mouth organ and started playing “hum honge kaamyab (we shall overcome)” much to the surprise of the gathering. Apparently, Fernandes carries the mouth organ with him all the time and uses it quite often at public gatherings. Music to the ears of most supporters.
A room with less view
It was a kind of homecoming for Ajay Maken who went to his new office at Nirman Bhawan recently after taking charge as the new housing and urban poverty alleviation minister. Maken used to be the junior minister in the urban development ministry way back in 2006. On taking charge, Maken reminisced about how his earlier office at Nirman Bhawan when he was handling the MoS UD portfolio was much bigger compared to the present one. As soon as message got around that he has taken charge, old timers at Nirman Bhawan — officials and staffers — started trooping in to his cabin to greet their former boss. Quite a homecoming.
While outspoken Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh has on several occasions called Baba Ramdev a “thug who has been duping people for ages now”, his party’s Gujarat unit recently described the yoga guru as a “spiritual and religious” leader. The Gujarat Congress recently filed a complaint with the election commission against the alleged poll code violation by a “religious and spiritual” leader. Without naming Ramdev, it alleged that he has been campaigning against the Congress from the platforms of his “spiritual discourse” and “yoga camps” in the poll-bound state. A war of words.