Pre-Truth, our new feature, brings you snappy, witty and significant snippets from the world of politics and government.
Blame it on the stars
The BJP has China to blame for not being able to form the government in Karnataka; the Chinese zodiac, to be more precise.
The Chinese zodiac is based on a 12-year cycle, with each of the dozen classifications represented by an animal. The current year, for example, is the ‘Year of the Dog’, and the JD(S) believes the Year of the Dog has always been lucky for the party.
It was another Year of the Dog, 1994, that saw JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda first become chief minister, with his son H.D. Kumaraswamy sworn in as the head of the state government exactly 12 years later. Now, another 12 years later, Kumaraswamy has taken oath as CM yet again
A very happy birthday, Vinod ji
Former BCCI secretary and National Cricket Academy (NCA) chairman Niranjan Shah, whose age cost him his cricket administrator’s job in light of the Supreme Court order, Wednesday sent birthday greetings to former CAG Vinod Rai, who heads the committee of administrators (CoA).
Rai turned 70 on 23 May and Shah’s short letter to him quoted gems on aging from writers Jean Paul (“Age does not matter if matter does not age”) and Mark Twain (“Age is mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter”).
Shah had an unceremonious exit from the NCA on account of the Lodha Committee recommendations that bar anyone aged over 70 years from posts in the BCCI and state cricket associations.
Shah would probably be hoping that Rai gets the not-so-hidden message in his greetings.
An ED-CBI contest in the offing?
Something interesting and unprecedented is happening in the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
A senior ED officer, close to a very vocal BJP leader, is in possession of some incriminating papers that purportedly show how a prominent Gujarat-based business family, facing ED and CBI investigations for alleged bank fraud, took care of expenses for the wedding of a senior CBI functionary’s daughter.
However, his superiors are not too keen to proceed against the CBI functionary, who is considered to be close to the powers-that-be in Delhi. The ED officer with the evidence has purportedly told some of his colleagues the evidence may “eventually come out somewhere”.
Away from the political grind
Trust Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh to live life on his own terms.
While his party is involved in a high-pitched battle against the Shiromani Akali Dal for the 28 May bypoll to the Shahkot assembly seat, the former ‘maharaja’ has left for a five-day trip to Manali to participate in his Pakistani friend Aroosa Alam’s birthday celebrations.
Several of his ministerial colleagues and officers were also in Manali for the grand party. However, Singh is said to have assured his party that he will ensure the Congress candidate’s victory in the bypoll.
How to handle space-crunch, Congress-style
The newly appointed secretaries and state in-charges of the Congress are very punctual when it comes to meeting party workers at the AICC headquarters. They announce their plan to visit their offices hours in advance and are seldom late.
However, there is a reason why the Congress leaders have turned a new leaf. With so many new appointments, there is dearth of space at the AICC headquarters. Hence, two or more secretaries have been told to share a single room. In some cases, the number of office-bearers sharing a room is ever higher. To get some privacy, especially during meetings, the new office-bearers have started coordinating among themselves to make sure that when one is in office, the others are not around.
The situation, Congress functionaries say, will only improve once the under-construction multi-storied headquarters is finally ready next year.
The art of keeping quiet
Lok Sabha secretary general Snehlata Shrivastava thought it prudent to remain incommunicado after reports emerged about the Lok Sabha Secretariat and Speaker Sumitra Mahajan trying to find a way to allow two BJP MPs – B.S. Yeddyurappa and B. Sreeramulu – to withdraw their resignation. The two had quit the house after taking oath as members of the Karnataka legislative assembly to withdraw their resignation.
The soft-spoken bureaucrat, a retired Madhya Pradesh-cadre IAS officer, didn’t take any calls and her office also told all information seekers, including journalists, that she was not ready to talk.
(Contributors: Maneesh Chhibber, Pragya Kaushika, Kumar Anshuman, Ruhi Tewari)