When a DMDK MLA called his leader Vijayakant “anja nenjan” (braveheart), he perhaps wasn’t expecting this kind of comeback. TN finance minister O.P. Paneerselvam immediately latched on, “You call him a braveheart? Then why does he fear attending the assembly?” Now the ‘Karuppu MGR’ had been suspended for 10 days, but that’s long over and he’s still not to be seen. Which is why another DMDK MLA piped up saying that ‘Captain’ was merely waiting for a court ruling on his petition challenging his suspension. Meanwhile, AISMK MLA R. Sarathkumar had a genuine query, “What will Vijayakant do if the case remains pending for five years? Will he stay away... and isn’t his absence an injustice on the people who elected him?” But wait a minute, isn’t this a tradition of the TN house? For when Jayalalitha is CM, ex-CM Karunanidhi absents himself from the house and vice-versa. It now appears Captain has added himself to the exalted exiled list.
The sins of your past always seem to catch up when you least expect it. Ask new Rajya Sabha MP and BJP president Nitin Gadkari’s confidant Ajay Sancheti. At the swearing-in ceremony for new MPs last week, Sancheti was reminded of his murky background by none other than the PM. Those present say the PM’s cold shoulder was too apparent to be missed. After taking oath, as he walked towards the PM to exchange greetings, a so-far-alert Manmohan decided to play oblivious to his surroundings, staring hard at the papers in front of him, and refusing to acknowledge Sancheti’s presence. So while Manmohan shook hands with all the new MPs, Sancheti shook hands with just V-P Hamid Ansari and LoP Arun Jaitley. The PM possibly hasn’t forgotten Sancheti’s involvement in the Adarsh scam and the more recent CAG report from Chhattisgarh, which alleges a Rs 1,000-crore loss to the public exchequer in the allocation of a coal block to Sancheti’s company, SMS Infrastructure, in 2007.
At a time when politicians measure their status by the size of their entourage, Goa’s new CM Manohar Parrikar makes for a refreshing change. Like when he has to fly somewhere. There’s no grand entry, he flies economy on a low-cost carrier, quietly stands in queue with his hand baggage to get his boarding card, and certainly doesn’t hold up flights because he is delayed. And that is how he was on a Goa-Delhi flight last week. Now the hope is this will last in a state known for its mining/ land lobbies, and vulgarly rich political clans. We are still rubbing our eyes in disbelief: is Parrikar putting on an act? Is this for real?
President Pratibha Patil’s term has been overshadowed by the indiscretions of close family members. Now it seems there are other relatives also revelling in this presidential glory. In west Delhi is a house with a nameplate declaring ‘Relative of the President’.
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