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The buzz

Keeping tab on the political grapevine.

india Updated: Jun 11, 2012 21:32 IST
Hindustan Times

She's verse for the wear
As the succession battle goes on, DMK chief M Karunanidhi's heir apparent and son, MK Stalin, came to Delhi to greet ex-telecom minister A Raja after he got bail in the 2G case. His stock rose after he met up with UPA leaders including Sonia Gandhi. But Stalin's half-sister, Kanimozhi, penned a poem in a special journal brought out for her father's 89th birthday, hinting at her political vanvaas. She says that she took all the blame for the family's sake. "For your (dad Karuna) dreams to come true, I shall accept false accusations and even torture in prison; anything for your dreams to be realised!" A versatile member of the family.

It is what lies behind
Masks and posters have a long association with the BJP. In the battle between Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and his rival Sanjay Joshi, the latter's supporters decided to wear masks of Joshi near the venue of a party conclave in Rajkot. Ironically, for the 2007 polls, Modi's fans wore his masks for campaigning. Lest we forget, the BJP's one-time ideologue Govindacharya had to leave the party after he told a British diplomat that AB Vajpayee, who was then PM, was a mask and that the RSS was the power behind him. A bitter face-off in the party.

She's quite a weathervane
Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj's felicity for making speeches in south Indian languages saw Andhra Pradesh BJP leaders seeking her out for the by-poll for the Parkal assembly seat in the Telangana region. Their plans were, however, foiled when heavy winds and rain saw crowds run helter-skelter. But Swaraj, who spent some time in the car, quickly came on to the dais to infuse confidence among the cadres, and said, "The weather is bad not for us but for the Congress." A few months ago, the BJP had stunned rival TRS by winning the Mahabubnagar seat in the region. No fair-weather friends here.

No air of resignation
Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda's proposal to revive the Kamraj plan of 1963 at last week's Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting came as a shocker to many. Under the plan, all Union ministers and chief ministers offered to resign and work for the party. As Hooda, apparently prompted by a senior party strategist, offered to step down, it took other CMs by surprise. While the CMs looked away, those who are not ministers or CMs nodded in agreement. He was clearly out of step.

The icing on the cake
The Congress is doing everything it can to keep its allies in good humour ahead of the presidential elections. There was a beeline from the party to wish DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi on his 89th birthday on June 3. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi were among the early callers. Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is a frontrunner in the race to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, home minister P Chidambaram and defence minister AK Antony, also wished him. To top it all, Union shipping minister GK Vasan wrote a laudatory article on Kalaignar, as Karunanidhi is fondly called, in a special souvenir released by the DMK's organ 'Murasoli' on the occasion. The DMK chief did not celebrate his birthday last year as his daughter Kanimozhi was behind bars in the 2G-spectrum allocation case. If wishes were horses…

Not flush with ideas
Have officials in the Planning Commission taken its deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia for a ride on the renovation of toilets? It appears so. Ahluwalia was apparently not aware that the administration had decided to install an access system to use the toilets while renovating them. He was only told that the toilets were being renovated to the standards at the Indira Gandhi International Airport and it was only when stories appeared in the media that he learnt that the access system has also been installed. Ahluwalia had approved the renovation on the ground that many foreign dignitaries visit the Planning Commission every year. He had no access to information.

First Published: Jun 11, 2012 21:29 IST