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Deep Throat

A regular column on the essential buzz

Deep Throat
Illustration by Saahil
Deep Throat
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Heard: Harsh Vardhan and Meenakshi Lekhi not to be fielded in Delhi elections, thus avoiding bypolls to fill their LS seats.

Overheard: Najma Heptullah is on the warpath with the UPA-appointed NCM, which will be in place till 2017.


Goa
Take me Home

At least on paper, Narendra Modi has set a scorching 24x7 work pace, but defence minister Manohar Parikkar, he from the land of susegad, has sent eyebrows northwards after just a month in office with his penchant for dashing to his home-state on Friday evenings. While Parikkar’s weekend breaks should have given some comfort to his stressed-out mantri bandhus, most are still cautious as they do not have his gravitas.

Whether it is the former Goa CM’s proximity with the RSS or the lack of bench strength in BJP, Parikkar seems to be getting away with it. So far. So when Parikkar boards the economy flights his files are also loaded on-board. The big test of course will be if Christmas sees him carolling back home or falling in step with the Good Governance day his compatr­iot in the Cabinet is stirring up for all. What is it they say: you can take a man out of Goa but…?


West Bengal
Hide And Seek

Even before her Man Friday Madan Mitra’s arrest, Kolkata’s best-kept secret was the alacrity with the city’s industrialists would flee on learning that Didi was about to host one of her jamborees. Many tactfully avoided her Sunderbans schmoozefest, but will they so easily skip her planned Mega Industry Meet in January 2015?

Apparently, the industrialists have figured out a way: writing a letter about their commitment to the state but claiming that an overseas commitment keeps them away. Of course, it doesn’t help that the industrial climate in West Bengal still has to improve. It also doesn’t help that the Modi Sarkar is going after her. But now that the Centre is stuck in the same morass she has been in for some years, the big boys are wondering where to seek salvation.


New Delhi
Messages On Water

Nobody’s sure of the unspoken agenda on Vladimir Putin’s list during his trip here, besides selling us overpriced reactors. The chopper and petro deals have already made some of India’s largest corporates rather happy.

Chatterati insist that Putin had specific instructions. Maybe gentle requests. Last time it had to do with a tycoon based in London; this time with a young Turk closer home than most people realise. It’s likely that efforts to harass the gent or probe him will now be quickly put on hold. Because what Putin wants, Putin gets.


Andhra Pradesh
Sauce For The Gander

Lots of buzz, all of it unsubstantiated of course, on Jairam Ramesh, the Kannadiga Congressman elec­ted to the Upper House from Andhra Pradesh. One, apparently with economist Balachandra Mungekar from Maharashtra, Jairam is miffed with the AAP-style approach of the party in Parliament to derail proceedings. Two, he is said to be drafting a Cabinet note for the Modi government to endorse an executive order and direct the ministries of parliamentary affairs and programme implementation to release MPLAD scheme funds to RS members. Hear it again: a UPA minister drafting an NDA cabinet note. The move will enable the 18 RS members from AP and Telangana to adopt a model village each year, as per the PM’s initiative.

The Insnider

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