The first meeting of the newly constituted 13th Gujarat Vidhan Sabha had a unique sight to offer. Four leaders, all of them at one point members of the RSS, were captured in a single frame. Seated opposite the newly elected speaker, Vajubhai Vala, was former BJP patriarch and now president of the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) Keshubhai Patel. To the left of the speaker was head of the cabinet and chief minister Narendra Modi and to his right was Opposition leader Shankersinh Vaghela. It was a rare photo-op when Modi, Vaghela and Patel escorted the youngest among them to the speaker’s chair.
Addressing a Telangana meet at a Hyderabad park recently, TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao took on the Nehru-Gandhi family, saying they were constantly letting the people of Telangana down. Congress MP from Rajahmundry, Vundavalli Arun Kumar, however, refuted the charges, saying the Gandhi family had given up all its riches for the nation. “History buffs recount how Motilal Nehru once used currency notes to heat up tea for his guests and Jawaharlal Nehru’s clothes were sent to France to be cleaned. That’s how rich they were. Today, if you see, neither Rahul Gandhi nor Sonia Gandhi have any great wealth,” boasted Vundavalli. Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal may have some details to share with Vundavalli.
By Indian foodie standards, Rahul Gandhi dining at a restaurant is considered a huge endorsement. A couple of years ago, late one night, when the Congress scion had dropped in at the Sindoor Palace family restaurant, Thiruvananthapuram, the place got celebrity status overnight. A scribe who managed an adjacent table even went into rapturous detail the next day recalling what Rahul and the local netas had indulged in: appams, Kerala parottas, chicken stew, chicken tikka, vegetable stew, prawn pepper fry, paneer butter masala...almost half the menu! Alas, a Rahulian star, unlike the Michelin Star, is not a rating for a foodie to visit. Last week, the Sindoor Palace was shut down by food safety officials after a child fell ill after eating there. The officials, it seems, thought hygiene standards were very poor. Foodies, better watch out for that star!
Shashi Tharoor’s The Great Indian Novel has been included in the new Kerala University MA English syllabus in Thiruvananthapuram. Sounds like a positive move but is it a coincidence that Tharoor is Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram and also minister of state at the hrd ministry?
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