Some of our netas are suddenly feeling generous. In fact, our 280 plus MLAs are going to be spending a lot of money — over Rs 200 crore — on us, the people, within the next 30 to 40 days. Why the deadline? Because the elections are due in September-October and the election code of conduct, which should kick in mid-August, will prevent them from using their development fund of Rs 1 crore for each constituency till the elections are over.
So the government has authorised our aamdars to spend the entire year’s funds of Rs 1 crore by August. After all, what if they’re not elected and are ‘cut’ out from the action?
Why did Sweta get the sack?
Why did Sweta Parulkar, part of the MNS’s top brass, fall out with Raj Thackeray? After all, she was the MNS’s female face when the party was launched three years ago. Insiders say Raj was irked by Sweta’s behaviour during the Lok Sabha elections when she contested from the Mumbai South Central constituency. Because, mid-campaign, Ms Parulkar threatened to withdraw and Raj had to plead with her to stay on.
Once the elections were over and she lost, she was quickly sidelined and sacked as chief of the party's women’s wing. We hear she had also made a couple of trips to Matoshree before she was sacked. Only trouble was, she tripped over herself somewhere along the way.
What a cop out
Who will be Maharashtra’s new top cop? Come August, when current state police chief S S Virk is due to retire, the man to succeed him should be the next in line, ex-DGP A N Roy.
But Roy doesn’t have too many friends in Mantralaya, not after he criticised the government’s (lack of) action during 26/11. And Virk would like to get an extension. CM Ashok Chavan, we hear, would like to grant him a few months more.
So why then, did Home Minister Jayant Patil drop hints that the government might pick Roy? Just a red herring, say those in the know. The bets are still on on Virk.
Egg on his face?
State BJP President Nitin Gadkari is one of those upset over the naming of the Bandra-Worli sealink after Rajiv Gandhi. And adding former chief minister Y B Chavan's name to the Mumbai-Pune expressway. But not for the reasons that you might think. Gadkari is angry because both the projects were planned and launched during his tenure as public works minister during the Sena-BJP alliance government tenure. “Mehnat kare murga, ande khaye fakir,” is how he put it.
So the Shiv Sena wants the Mumbai-Pune expressway to be named after the late P.L. Deshpande, the popular Marathi litterateur. But has the Sena forgotten that in 1996, Bal Thackeray himself had ridiculed Deshpande for daring to criticise the party?