Power bites

Illustrations: Anand Naorem, Mayanglambam Dinesh

Sinking in the Ocean

The MEA’s repeated cock-ups in the Maldives are an embarrassment. When Mohammed Nasheed was removed in a coup, New Delhi seemed interested only in ensuring GMR’s Male airport contract was respected. Recently it told Nasheed, who had taken refuge in the Indian mission, to break away MPs from the government and push for fresh election. India would back him in return for the airport being given back to GMR. Instead, bolstered by Chinese money, the regime in Male played hardball and arrested Nasheed.

Caught in Congress?

It’s Kerala’s own version of the Bedchamber Crisis. It began when a newspaper reported a cuckolded NRI husband had beaten up a Kerala minister who was having an affair with his wife. Then Congress chief whip PC George revealed the man in question was Environment and Forest Minister KB Ganesh Kumar, accused him of being a serial offender and called for him to resign. Next, Kumar’s long-suffering wife, a doctor, was said to be considering addressing the media on her husband’s history of dalliances. All this has put Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in a soup. Kumar’s expected departure will place the Congress-pled UDF government, which has a narrow majority in the Assembly, in jeopardy.

India in Numbers

Jobs lost in the Agricultural Sector in 2005-10 14.08 MN

Jobs lost in manufacturing 5.03 MN

Unemployment Rate 9.8%

Tripura Backlash

Assam CM Tarun Gogoi and Congress general secretaries Luizinho Falerio and Shakeel Ahmed rushed to Agartala after the party won only 10 seats in the Tripura polls. The Left Front won the other 50. The trio went to complain to Governor DY Patil about communist cadre beating up their workers. Instead, angry Congressmen, upset with Gogoi since he had headed the committee that had chosen candidates, manhandled the delegation. Taken aback, Gogoi rushed to his car, drove straight to the airport and stayed there till his plane left.

Gowda Goner

In Karnataka, former CM DV Sadananda Gowda has dropped out of the coming Assembly polls. He won’t be seeking re-election as the BJP candidate from Puttur. In 2008, he had beaten Independent Shakunthala Shetty by a narrow margin. This time, Shetty has joined the Congress and with an anti-BJP mood, it is likely he will win. Gowda says he wants to focus on rebuilding the BJP, which has suffered due to disunity and corruption. By avoiding defeat, he reckons he’s keeping himself alive for another day.

Anyone Home?

Union Home Secretary RK Singh is retiring in June and is in the running for at least two post-retirement jobs. The search is on for his successor. Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Javed Usmani is a strong contender. Another name being mentioned is Rajen Habib Khwaja. He’s from the Andhra Pradesh cadre of the IAS and currently secretary, mines ministry.


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