Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s special plane had to leave the Andrews Air Force base in Washington an hour earlier than originally planned, on a heavily wintry morning. The rescheduling was done to avoid a clash with the Queen of England at Port of Spain where the PM was headed to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. As per security protocol, no plane is allowed to land or take off one hour before the Queen was to land. The PM left Washington at 8.15 am and landed well in advance of the Queen.
One of those phases
A certain minister of state hasn’t been able to decide: was it a royal snub or just age catching up with this Governor of a state who refuses to recognise him. It started a few months ago when this minister met the governor at a get-together and thought that they got along pretty well. “We spoke for about an hour… about everything under the sun, from politics to family,” the minister recalled. A month later, they bumped into each other at another function. The minister obviously started talking to him as if they knew each other. A few minutes into the conversation, the governor asked: “Are you from Madhya Pradesh?” The minister’s face turned red; embarrassed and slighted.
Climate of curiosity
Too much transparency is not so good. Or at least that’s what Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh appears to have discovered. Ramesh is now inundated with Right to Information applications seeking details of who accompanied him during his domestic and foreign visits, which hotels he stayed in, what kind of bills he ran up. The minister, however, seems to have taken things in his stride and said “I guess people are very curious about me”.
Amar’s seat feat
When former colleagues turn political rivals even an adjoining seat can get too uncomfortable for words. It happened on Saturday when Samajwadi Party’s Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh realised that he would be sitting next to newly-elected Congress MP from Ferozabad, Raj Babbar, during a flight from Delhi to Mumbai. Singh literally threw a fit. There was no way he would be seen anywhere near Babbar who was once in the SP and later joined the Congress. He demanded and got a seat some distance away.
Warming up for winter
RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh has been quite vociferous in Lok Sabha in the winter session as compared to the budget session. He has been attacking the UPA on many issues. When a senior opposition leader asked him the reason for this “sudden change”, Singh pointed out that the last session was a transition period from a cabinet minister in UPA 1 to an “opposition” MP. “You will see more of such attacks in future,” he said.