Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio is at loggerheads with his own party, the Naga People’s Front. The CM wants to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, but his colleagues feel that if he goes to Delhi, a succession war for the party leadership will break out in the state. Rumour has it that Rio has apparently been assured by BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi of a Cabinet berth if he partners the NDA. On his part, Rio wants to bring a resolution to the Naga peace process with New Delhi, which has been on since 1997. The CM ’s adamant stand has irked many senior leaders in the party, who have started openly voicing their discontent with his “dictatorial style”.
No money to burn
His anger might be explosive but Hindu Sena president Vishnu Gupta knows how to expend it economically. His boys had gathered outside the office of a New Delhi-based magazine to protest its interview with the jailed Swami Aseemanand. Gupta was heard barking orders for buying 20-30 copies of the magazine to burn. But when informed that it cost Rs 75 a copy, Gupta changed the purchase order to 3-4 copies.
Too many takers
The Bangalore North Lok Sabha constituency is tricky for the BJP. Former chief minister Sadananda Gowda, former home minister R Ashok and Shobha Karandlaje, close associate of BS Yeddyurappa, have all expressed a desire to contest the seat. Senior leader Ananth Kumar fears that if either Gowda or Ashok wins, his own hold might be threatened. Hence, he is backing Shobha. However, if the Congress fields Nandan Nilekani, they may lose the seat altogether.
Persona non Grata
Jammu & Kashmir Health Minister Shabir Ahmad Khan is in hiding, probably in Jammu. Six days after a female doctor filed a police complaint accusing him of sexual assault, Khan is still absconding. According to the grapevine, Khan had sought the intervention of Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in New Delhi, who reprimanded him and sent him back, fearing an embarrassment to the Congress if the minister is arrested in the capital.
This is a time when actors are careful with their Telugu accents, lest they be branded pro- or anti-Telangana. Producers avoid film releases on dates when there is a political rally. Yet actor Ameesha Patel has gone ahead and tweeted: “So proud of cm Kiran Reddy 2 stand firm for a united Andhra… divide n rule was a British tactic… Indians shud never divide themselves.” Pro-Telangana cinema-goers are not amused.