Deep Throat

A regular column on the essential buzz

Image Of The Week
Hello A waxen pontiff awaited the real deal during the Pope’s visit to Ireland—the first since John Paul II in 1979

Eminence Grise

Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah set tongues wagging last week when he said he could become CM again—of course, he invoked the truism that politics was like flowing water. Even if the statement was innocuous, many couldn’t help noticing that he said it in Holenarsipura, the pocket borough of the Deve Gowda family, known rivals but now coalition partners. Since the assembly elections in May, the former CM has kept himself busy with party work, taking only a brief naturopathy break—an episode that didn’t help the ruling coalition after his disparaging private comments leaked. He is now heading for Europe.


Ride To Reckoning

Passengers on a city bus in Bhubaneswar were recently surprised to see Jitendra Singh, the AICC general secretary in charge of Odisha, as a co-traveler. Taking a leaf out of party president Rahul Gandhi’s book, who created a buzz by traveling in a Mumbai local train a couple of years ago, the former Union minister took the bus from Hotel Crown to Congress Bhavan. Singh preferred to travel standing as he chatted with fellow passengers about the political scenario in Odisha and the prospects of various parties. The move is apparently part of the party’s people-connect programme ahead of the 2019 elections. While the gesture was generally well received, the party would need much more than bus rides to win back the confidence of the people in the state.


Missing First Lady

As Satya Pal Malik took over as the new governor of Jammu and Kashmir, his marital status became a matter of discussion. Many believed he was bachelor as there was no information about his spouse nor was he accompanied by the First Lady when he took his oath of office. The buzz was Malik is married to Iqbal Bano, a biologist. But it became clear soon that Malik’s spouse is Iqbal Kaur Malik, not a Muslim and that they are separated. Apparently, when Malik contested from Aligarh in 1989 on a Congress ticket, the BJP spread the story he was married to a Muslim. The Congress didn’t correct it as it helped the party gain Muslim votes.

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