It is one thing to teach breathing exercises to disciples and quite another to tackle wily politicians breathing fire at you. Ask Baba Ramdev, he should know. The guru of yoga had declared war on ‘all’ politicians over the black money row, but a clever counter-attack and a few uncomfortable questions on the part of Digvijay Singh saw the yogi running for cover in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh camp. Seeking a shoulder to cry on, Ramdev first called the firebrand leader, Uma Bharti. But the sadhvi herself has been drowning in sorrow ever since she found out that the doors of the Bharatiya Janata Party would remain firmly shut for her. So she asked a worried Ramdev to get in touch with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad veteran, Ashok Singhal, instead. Perhaps Singhal proved to be more helpful as Ramdev, apparently, has now decided to lend his support to the VHP’s pet issues such as Ayodhya, cleansing the Ganges, terrorism, and so on. But the trade-off has already got the cynics wondering whether Ramdev will now declare that he has decided to spare the saffronwallahs from the terrible ‘war’ he is about to wage on errant politicians.
That SM Krishna had unwittingly committed a blunder at a recent United Nations security council meeting in New York is well known. He had started reading the speech of the Portuguese minister, who had spoken earlier. Luckily, the error was spotted quickly by an alert Indian diplomat who helped Krishna rectify the mistake. But what is not known is that the ghost of that faux pas continues to haunt Krishna even in domestic territory. The other day, even as Krishna was trying to read out a statement in the Lok Sabha, he was cautioned by members to check whether he had the correct text with him. The ruckus that ensued — perhaps as a result of the wisecrack — forced Krishna to give up his attempt to complete the task.
She may have butchered her seven husbands on screen, but some say that Piggy Chops has decided to forgive the IT sleuths who had come knocking on her door. There is more proof of Priyanka Chopra’s magnanimity: she accepted the role of ‘census ambassador’ that was offered to her by the Union home minister. The actress also decided to work for free and spare any length of time to spread the message about the census. Another mischievous explanation for Priyanka’s magnanimity goes like this: the good turn, the actress is hoping, will be enough to keep the taxmen at bay.
The chief minister of Karnataka recently flew from Bangalore to New Delhi. Was it yet another sign of imminent trouble in the BJP’s ranks in the southern state? That wasn’t the case. BS Yeddyurappa had travelled northward to apologize to Sushma Swaraj, who was mightily upset with him. So much so that the fiery lady decided not to attend the rally to celebrate Yeddyurappa’s 1,000 days in office. But what is the reason behind Swaraj’s anger? Apparently, she is deeply unhappy with the way Yeddyurappa treated the party gen-sec, Ananth Kumar. A month ago, Yeddyurappa had convened a solidarity meeting to present a united face of the party at a time when the governor, HR Bhardwaj, had decided to prosecute the embattled CM. Yeddyurappa wanted to address a joint press conference with Kumar, but the latter refused to do so. As a result, Yeddyurappa turned Kumar out. A miffed Kumar came knocking on Swaraj’s door. She, in turn, summoned Yeddyurappa. But the CM stayed put in the state, infuriating Swaraj further. It was time for Nitin Gadkari to step in and cool things down. Gadkari convinced Yeddyurappa to fly to Delhi to present his side of the story. An obedient CM took the flight to apologize to Messrs Swaraj and Kumar. Yeddyurappa’s troubles are over, but if the past record is anything to go by, it will not be long before he takes another flight to the capital.
Satish Mishra’s place in the Bahujan Samaj Party pecking order remains assured. This was evident when Behenji trooped in with her family and relatives to attend the wedding of Mishra’s daughter. The entire UP cabinet was in attendance as well, as were seven sitting judges who, however, chose not to meet Mayavati. There has been a lot of talk about Mishra being a spent force. But Mayavati’s presence during the wedding should suffice as evidence that Mishra continues to call the shots.
Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but love is still in the air for Kareena Kapoor. Despite her busy schedule, Kareena did not say no when her beau, Saif Ali Khan — currently shooting in Bhopal — asked her to spend a weekend with him. And Saif left no stones unturned to make the occasion special for his soulmate. Plans were made for the couple to visit not only Saif’s grandmother’s palace but also other historical places that are related to Bhopal’s nawabi past. Saif and Kareena are also expected to visit a jungle resort close to the state capital.
Ever the perfect gentleman, Saif also arrived at the airport to receive Kareena. But somehow, the local media got wind of his plans and gathered at the venue in full strength, forcing the star to stay inside his car. Love, alas, is not just a bed of roses.