July 05, 2020
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Gujarat
Patel Rap

As if the Hardik Patel problem wasn’t enough, chief minister Anandiben has fresh anxiety to deal with. There is a rumour gaining some traction that the CM could be one of the Patel leaders who is secretly backing the Patidar andolan. The buzz in Gandhinagar is that the violent agitation has ensured that Narendra Modi will now no longer even think of having a non-Patel CM in her place. But who could take her place? The point is too early to be discussed and, so says the grapevine, could well depend on the BJP’s fortunes in the Bihar elections. Fanning the rumours, Amit Shah has sent a ‘firman’ to the state’s MLAs, who were previously avoiding the press, to make friends with journalists and keep in touch with them. Anandiben has not got the message clearly since a stony silence still greets most political reporters in Gandhinagar.


Madhya Pradesh
The Hand That Rocks

Confiscating the mobile phones of visitors is no longer enough to keep conversations secret. Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan discovered this to his chagrin when he invited Vyapam whistleblower Dr Anand Rai for a concili­a­tory meeting. The latter was app­a­­rently wearing an Israeli spy watch which not only recorded their whole conversation but also shot a video of the meeting. He then promptly filed an affidavit before the high court, detailing the offer made to him by Chou­han, adding for good measure that mobile tower details would prove that his mobile was inside the chief minister’s residence. While Chouhan has refused to react to the allegation, the disclosure will no doubt do wonders for the sale of Israeli spy watches.


Maharashtra
O Maria, O Maria

From alleged proximity to the accused to self-promotion,  many theories have been floa­ted for the ouster of Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria from the She­ena Bora murder probe. But there are some who believe he was jettisoned as the probe was beg­i­nning to prick friends of a leading light of the BJP in Delhi with interests in cricket. The story harks back to NDA-I when Murdoch had to offload his Star TV stake after a cha­nge in rules. At least four wor­t­h­ies close to the BJP hea­vyw­eight benefited from the deal. Ergo: it was pressure from the top which did Maria in.


Tripura
Tweet Nothings

Are Bengalis more gullible or less virile, wonders Tripura governor Tathagata Roy in one of his twe­ets. The attention of the proud swayamsevak was drawn by the profusion of aphrodisiac ads in the Bengali print and electronic media. Roy is intrigued why such ads appear only in Bengali TV and print! Twitter apparently keeps the guv busy, congratulating the UP BJP for reviving ‘Love Jehad’ one day and commiserating with ‘gullible Hindu girls’ of Bengal on another. The one false tweet was when he welcomed Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina telling Hindus there B’desh was their motherland. With Bangladesh teaching him secularism, would he delete his anti-Islam tweets, asked one Nambiar from Dubai. An unfazed Roy retorted, “Whatever made you think I am secular? I am a Hindu.”


Heard: At least two BJP talking heads on TV believe Arun Jaitley is being made “scapegoat” by the PMO for FinMin’s underperformance

Overheard: “PM meeting the President after a foreign visit is the norm. Guess how many times Modi has met Pranab after his 27 trips?”


Contributed by Ushinor Majumdar, K.S. Shaini, Uttam Sengupta and Pritam Sengupta

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