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Keeping tabs on the political grapevine

comment Updated: Jul 07, 2014 23:18 IST
Hindustan Times

After all, It’s a numbers game
Union minister of state (independent charge) for sports Sarbananda Sonowal was allotted a bungalow that was held by former civil aviation minister Ajit Singh. After failing to get it, Sonowal sought a new one. He was given two choices but rejected both on his astrologer’s advice. The first one did not have an east-facing gate and the second had number three in its address, an inauspicious number for the minister. Not an easy man to please!

Looking out for yourself too
With the sword of Damocles hanging over some Congress chief ministers, Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh has turned to his two trusted colleagues Sudhir Sharma and Mukesh Agnihotri. Their responsibility is to spend a larger part of the week in Delhi, stick around the party headquarters and get a sense of the mood of party leaders vis-à-vis his continuance as the CM. The two might be diligently carrying out the assigned task but they are also using it as an opportunity to project themselves as the state’s future leaders. The grapevine suggests they are also in touch with the CM’s rival group. Make hay while your master is away.

Spooking the spooks
Former intelligence and military chiefs from India recently met their Pakistani counterparts at a Track 2 meeting and came away with an interesting perspective on the NDA government. Pakistan was not so concerned about PM Narendra Modi as much as the appointment of Ajit Doval, former director, Intelligence Bureau, as NSA. Islamabad is reportedly worried as Doval has a reputation as one of the best intelligence operatives with an aggressive posture on security issues. Spooks on both sides now know what their counterparts can be up to.

Dial D for disapproval
It may well be an apocryphal tale but it signals how the PMO is perceived to be keeping a hawk eye on all concerned. A minister, who had been in touch with a shady businessman, met this person twice over two consecutive days. Just before a third meeting the minister received a call from the PMO questioning him about the rather frequent meetings. The minister stopped all contact with businessman and fell in line. Watch who you talk to.

First Published: Jul 07, 2014 23:16 IST