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Deep Throat

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Deep Throat
Illustration by Saahil
Deep Throat
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553

New Delhi
Language Issue

The launch of an environmental magazine in Hindi has been deferred till after the climate change conference in Paris to be attended by Modi in November. Allegedly, the suggestion was made by Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar; he didn’t want any trouble before the conference. As it is, his ministry has had enough trouble with Down to Earth, an English environment magazine with an international readership. While the magazine has been critical of the policies of the previous government as well, its editor Sunita Narain, noted environmental activist, was dropped from the PM’s Council on Environment. Javadekar is learnt to have reasoned that while the magazine in English is popular among experts, the Hindi edition would make domestic ‘trouble-makers’ more aware about policy issues. That, the minister decided, he could not afford at this stage.


Madhya Pradesh
Don’t Forget Vyapam

Fifteen districts may be reeling under drought but the state government is readying to splurge around Rs 20 crore on celebrating Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s ten years in office. The Skoch Group has been tasked with preparing a book, while PR agency Madison will handle the publicity. Efforts are on to persuade Narendra Modi and Amit Shah to join the celebrations. The government has refused to learn from neighbouring Chhattisgarh, which decided not to organise any programmes for Foundation Day in view of drought. Interestingly, Chouhan, who will dislodge Digvijay Singh as the longest-serving CM of MP on November 29, has rejected the punch line “Das saal bemisaal” (ten unparalleled years) for the campaign saying that it smacked of arrogance.


Bihar
Die Is Cast

The fate of Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh is said to be sealed. Out-of-depth in the ministry, the buzz is that the minister no longer enjoys the confidence of the prime minister, along with several others. Bureaucrats recall with relish how often the minister has been seen pleading with the secretary for some ‘gyan’. And bureaucrats being bureaucrats, the secretary felt it was more beneficial for him to brief the PMO. Singh will clearly be the fall guy for rising prices of pulses and other assorted bad news on the agricultural front.


Maharashtra
Money Talks

BJP is having a bad time in the state. Whether they try to be populist or divisive, it backfires. Now facing possible action for declaring a Rs 6,500 crore package for the Kalyan-Dombivili area, before the Nov 1 civic elections, the leaders are yet again cornered by the opposition and the Sena. While earlier they got out of the meat ban controversy, this time the package was declared by CM Devendra Fadnavis himself and that too, apparently without taking Sena in confidence. Congress leaders are contemplating taking it to the Election Commission and the leaders within BJP are wondering why “mere awareness of  the smart city project” would backfire. Kalyan and Dombivili remain the most crow–ded townships crying for administrative attention but alas they may have missed a chance yet again. 


Heard: India CEO of one of the most valuable brands laments the worst year ever: “The only sector doing well is deodorants.”

Overheard: “How much longer will Jeremy Corbyn allow Lord Meghnad Desai and Manoj Ladwa...to be Modi’s drumbeaters?”


Contributed by Uttam Sengupta, Prachi Pinglay-Plumber, K.S. Shaini and Pritam Sengupta

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