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Keeping tab on the political grapevine

india Updated: Oct 31, 2011 21:02 IST
Hindustan Times

Formula for graciousness
While the traffic crawled on the Yamuna Expressway on Sunday afternoon as Delhi's rich and famous made their way to watch the F1 race at Buddh International Circuit, many noticed a white Ford Fiesta car with a revolving red light waiting patiently for its turn. Sitting in it with only one security personnel was the Union home minister P Chidambaram wearing dark sunglasses. There was no other security detail like black cats or even an escort car accompanying him. While one Union minister created a fuss about the organisers not inviting him, Chidambaram got driven to the circuit through the mother of all jams. At the F1 where Delhi's elite were in the VVIP stands, Chidambaram watched the race from a distance and then came back to Delhi. No life in the fast track for him.

A young woman's worth
The BJP is watching the rise of a young leader in its youth wing, the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), who has the support of a powerful party general secretary in-charge of the organisation. Much to the chagrin of BJYM president Anurag Thakur, the young lady was accommodated in the office-bearers' list. A book written by her was launched by the senior BJP leader and she was noticed by the top party brass while LK Advani's rath was passing through Madhya Pradesh. Now, any bets on who the senior BJP leader is?

No Modi-fying his stand
While many in the RSS and the BJP want him to forgive and forget, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has made it into a fight of principles and one which he won't let go. Modi is extremely cut up with both Nagpur and Delhi for rehabilitating Sanjay Joshi in the party fold. The Gujarat strongman has a point as he had made it clear from day one to BJP president Nitin Gadkari that he was opposed to the re-entry of Joshi into the party. Gadkari, however, with the backing of the RSS, not only accommodated his friend but has also given him a pivotal role in the forthcoming UP electi-ons. With Modi in no mood for a compromise on Joshi, Gadkari will have to put in an extra effort in Mumbai Corporation elections as Gujaratis always follow their leader even outside the state. Friends in need, indeed.

Making light of our lights
Canadian foreign minister John Russell Baird tried his best to make a good impression on external affairs minister SM Krishna on Diwali day last week. Krishna took strong exception to the Cana-dian government's advisory against travelling to India during the festival week. Baird started telling Krishna that "we" also celebrate Diwali. He then went on to talk about Akshay Kumar, the Bollywood star who is personally known to him. In terms of clarification to the advisory, Baird said Canada didn't use any "threat". It just asked citizens to follow the instructions of the local authorities. The two leaders were in Perth attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Talk about bad news travelling quickly.

A greenhorn on evergreen Dev
Recently, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee was keen to acquire knowledge on an unusual subject: Bollywood veteran Dev Anand and his films. At an awards' function, Mukherjee met Devsaab but not much conversation took take place as Mukherjee has hardly seen 10 Hindi films in his life. So, first he asked his aide Pradyut Guha about the films Dev Anand has done. During a flight from Delhi to Kolkata, he even asked West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee if she knew much about Dev Anand. Both have tried their best to update Mukherjee on Bollywood's evergreen romantic. A Guide for Mukherjee anyone?

Not playing his song
Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh has also got a CD players and lots of music albums in his office at Krishi Bhawan. Recently when Odhisa chief minister Naveen Patnaik was scheduled to meet him, Ramesh suddenly put on a CD of Odhiya songs minutes before his arrival. While Patnaik is not known to be very conversant in his mother tongue, Ramesh deliberately decided to play that background music for their meeting. Upon his arrival, Patnaik, however, concentrated more on the paintings in Jairam's office. Not quite in tune there.

First Published: Oct 31, 2011 20:58 IST