Into the pigeonhole
What does the poor pigeon have to do with politicians of devious intentions' Why are the MPs named in the “human trafficking” case being accused of kabootarbaazi' To think that pigeons are homing creatures, quite the opposite of those looking to fly out! After the BJP MP, Ramswarup Koli, landed in the net following a spot of this pigeon-game, his supporters tried to convince the party gen-sec, Arun Jaitley, that their leader was innocent. Jaitley, however, refused to give an appointment to Koli till he checked the latter’s passport. Another party boss, VK Malhotra, turned out to be equally inconsiderate. Last heard, Koli was still waiting for sympathetic ears. Sympathy was not something Anand Sharma, minister of state for external affairs, got at the New Delhi airport either. Instead of the usual VVIP treatment, he was asked by security personnel to kindly submit himself to all manner of checks and drills. The price one has to pay for sharing one’s vocation with the likes of Babubhai Katara! Pause a moment to feel sorry for the Union minister, who asked his wife to accompany him on a foreign trip, and was greeted with the question, “Should I carry my marriage certificate too'”
Not so sweet
Not that Amitabh Bachchan had only friends and best friends before this, but after the wedding of his son, he may be confronted with an enemy-list which is rather long. It would include all those who were not invited, but were sent “shaadi ki mithai”. Such as Shatrughan Sinha, who sent away the box of assorted Swiss chocolates which came to his doorstep, not once or twice, but three times. According to Shatruji, “half of the industry that has stood by the Bachchans through thick and thin was not invited.” Ask him what could be the reason, and pat comes the reply: “Because Amitabh is being guided by a misguided missile called Amar Singh.”
With the mercury soaring in Delhi, lawyer and Union science and technology minister, Kapil Sibal thought it wise to meet the press on the lawns of his residence. The agenda was to use some of the nastier words in his vocabulary to describe the BJP and the Samajwadi Party ahead of the sixth phase of polling in UP. No sooner had he begun than the skies opened, and everyone started running for cover. Heard in the din and confusion was an upset scribe’s comment, “The least the science and tech minister can do is to consult the Met office before holding open-air press conferences.”
Art of giving it back
Don’t be misled by his poetry, Varun Gandhi is no babe in the woods. If he feels he has been wronged — and he has been feeling so vis-à-vis the BJP quite frequently, of late — then he can be counted on to get back at those who have loved him less than he deserves. Rajnath Singh’s name is rather high on this list. And so, when the BJP president wanted to share the dais with him at a recent meeting (but only after hearing about a large expected turnout), Varun promptly cancelled the meeting. Way to go, boy!
Unhappy with the bosses
Who runs the Delhi government' If the Delhi CM, Sheila Dikshit, is to be believed, the AICC bosses do. The smallest of her decisions are made by them. Dikshit cannot even shuffle her cabinet without asking the party high command. On top of it, the ‘powerless’ CM has also had to face the brickbats for the defeat of the Congress in the municipal election. Now, that’s not fair! Tired of beaming the chief-ministerial smile at meetings, Dikshit has been heard complaining that she could function more freely when the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government was in power at the Centre. Hear hear!
Full of emptiness
The leftists never pass up a chance to attack the Congress government at the Centre on its economic policies. Could there be a better platform to practice this art than the debate on the Union budget in parliament' But on April 30, guess how many MPs from the CPI, CPI(M), Forward Bloc and RSP were present to give P Chidambaram a difficult time' One. Before the leftists see red, it must also be mentioned that there were eight from the Congress (including four ministers), two each from the BJD and RJD, and one from the BJP — making up a total of 14. April 30 happened to be a Monday, with a weekend behind it and two holidays — May Day on Tuesday and Buddha Purnima on Wednesday following it. Can we still blame government servants for bunking office and enjoying long weekends' They have such worthy leaders to show the way.
Cut to 1975. Emergency days. George Fernandes, then at the vortex of the socialist opposition to Indira Gandhi, went underground to escape arrest and persecution. He fled to Tamil Nadu, where the friendly government of M. Karunanidhi readily offered him shelter. In those days, Karunanidhi used to hold informal cabinet meetings on the Marina Beach. He invited Fernandes to one of these meetings, and the young socialist came dressed as a Muslim cleric, complete with a flowing beard. While the meeting was on, the CM casually called over an intelligence officer and asked him about the whereabouts of the absconding Fernandes. The man replied that indeed, the police had all the information — Fernandes was hiding in Ooty and would be arrested very soon. Appearing to be satisfied with the findings, Karunanidhi dismissed the officer, turned to Fernandes and, with a twinkle in eye, whispered, “Now you have nothing to worry, you are safe.”