Power Bites

Illustration: Mayanglambam Dinesh
Illustration: Mayanglambam Dinesh

Grounded ambitions

Neither bravado nor subtle entreaties seem to be working for Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh, who is faced with the prospect of not making it to the Rajya Sabha if Mulayam Singh Yadav does not oblige him with crucial numerical support. The latest buzz is that ‘Netaji’ has refused to join Ajit Singh’s proposed ‘kisan swabhiman rally’ to press for a better remunerative price for sugarcane. Things do not seem to be too sweet for Charan Singh’s heir. To add to his woes, he had a long row with a stubborn Union government over vacating his ministerial bungalow in Lutyens’ Delhi.

Heralding A Comeback 

After a protracted period of closure and lockout, Jawaharlal Nehru’s pet dream is being given a fresh lease of life: The National Herald is being revived. The revival is likely to cause quite a splash, what with Subramanian Swamy having already dragged the Herald and the Gandhi-Nehru family to court over a property dispute. The grapevine is abuzz with the name of Suman Dubey taking over as the newspaper’s editor-in-chief if and when the relaunch takes place.

Illustration: Mayanglambam Dinesh
Illustration: Mayanglambam Dinesh

Happy days again! 

Taking a leaf out of Mizoram’s book, which returned to happy hours after a 17-year gap, the TR Zeliang government in Nagaland is all set to officially return to the bottle. A series of meetings involving civil society leaders and tribals have taken place in Kohima. The move, which could distract attention from the lingering Assam-Naga border clashes, is aimed at finding a global market for Naga wines.

Quick Learners 

Some ministers of a legislative committee from Uttar Pradesh, had a unique experience while they went on a trip to Maharashtra. The mlas of the former Congress-NCP ruling coalition enquired from them as to what was the “going rate of commission” in their state. One MLA feigned ignorance. He asked what kind of “commission” was being referred to. His Maharashtra counterpart disclosed with glee that the officers of various departments who appear before these committees regularly pay their mlas! Suitably enlightened, one legislator commented that UP can certainly learn a lot from Maharashtra.

Illustration: Mayanglambam Dinesh
Illustration: Mayanglambam Dinesh

Poster Boy

There is a strong buzz in the CPM that the party is going to project Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar as the new poster boy of Left politics. The spartan Sarkar has been traversing the country, handpicked to target Modi and author the revival of the beleaguered Left.


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