The new Union minister for tourism and culture, Chiranjeevi, is mighty chuffed with this casting, but his fans in Tollywood are a disappointed lot. Till recently, the actor-turned-neta had kept reassuring Telugu cinephiles he was definitely eyeing a comeback. An oft-repeated comment was that his 150th film would be produced by actor-son Ram Charan Tej and would have “a social message”. But talking to journos after getting cast in his cabinet role, Chiranjeevi admitted it was farewell to movies. Still, netas are known for their flip-flop. Maybe a Telugu song ’n dance montage? One second here, the next there, then back?
A popular perception about the Congress in Tamil Nadu is that after being out of power for over 40 years, the party is on its deathbed. Now TNCC chief B.S. Gnanadesikan has given the term moribund a whole new meaning when he put out a signed media statement saying he and the state’s other Congressmen would be paying homage to “former PM Mrs Sonia Gandhi” on October 31 (which is actually the day former PM Indira Gandhi was killed 28 years ago). The press release inviting reporters to cover the solemn occasion was already out when the monumental blunder was noticed. An anxious Gnanadesikan immediately called each and every one of the media invitees apologising for the faux pas and saying a revised invite was on its way. But the damage was done. A state neta sighed, “this kind of mistake is inauspicious, unlucky and most unfortunate”. Surely for Gnani!
Congress CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the man who now has the greatest realty and political stock in the capital, was the go-to man at the much hyped pro-FDI rally at Delhi’s Ramlila ground. The Haryana CM made it a “pink” rally or as someone quipped, a show of his “pink panthers”. He’d ordered all his people at the rally to come in pink turbans. The sea of pink turbans were seated from right up in front so that the leaders on the stage could see “Haryana’s clout”. And just in case Soniaji, Rahulji and PMji missed the point, Hooda in his speech pointed out that he had come with “Sonia Gandhi ki gulaabi sena”. The buzz is that Hooda may have upstaged Shiela Dikshit on her turf. But all is forgiven, after all he is the First Damaad of India’s generous friend and the rally was about FDI....
In the midst of troubles, the BJP often looks back at its faded stalwarts from the past. A veteran was heard giving this take on the original sadhvi Uma Bharati: “She’s gone from firebrand to waterbrand...her main concern now seems to be the Ganga river.”
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