Early Burly Race
After an autobiography that is like a textbook on how to survive, thrive and still not become the prime minister, what next for Sharad Pawar? The other big, what-if of our times Pranab Mukherjee, may show the way. If not exactly the Rashtrapati Bhavan as early Lutyens’ rumours had it, the Baramati strongman has set his sights on the Vice-President’s post. Incumbent Hamid Ansari’s term ends in 2017, but a couple of long distance runners have already taken positions at the starting blocks. Another wily old player, the ‘Fauja Singh’ of Indian politics, Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal, has been warming up for a while.
Sledge & Hammer
The slam-bang hero of the 80s Kirti Azad may regret trying to replicate his heroics in the political arena by positioning himself as the conscientious whistle-blower and cocking a snook at his party establishment. He may have elders Subramaian Swamy and sundry Bihar shotguns offering cover fire, but a BJP insider let on that they have a few tricks up their sleeves too. Kirti, the son of Congressman and former Bihar CM Bhagwat Jha Azad, apparently has a history of conflict with a sister-in-law, who may be roped in to throw some muck back.
All is Well
A penny stock that inevitably sees a huge intra-day high before closing at rock bottom in Delhi’s rumour bazaar is the premature issuance of RIPs. Mamata Banerjee did it for A B Bardhan. To ward against such undue speculation, Congress issued an “all is well” proclamation about party president Sonia Gandhi late Friday night. No chances taken.
In the middle of all his hectic foreign itineraries, what surprised many is the PM’s choice of poetry, or the lines he picked up for delivery. It was Jibanananda Das in Dhaka, T S Eliot in London and Rumi in Kabul. Needless to say, all quite pat.