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Deep Throat

A regular column on the essential buzz

Deep Throat
Illustration by Saahil
Deep Throat
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Uneasy Lies The Crown

What next for Amit Shah, Bihar lost? He stays, says one group, for moving out the BJP president will be seen as loss of face for Narendra Modi. Others think he’ll be sent back to Gujarat as CM. That should have worried Anandi­ben, but for the pro-Patel agitation of the Patidars. A third possibility was heard at Modi’s meeting with UK-based Indian businessmen. That Shah might be inducted into the Union cabinet in an upcoming reshuffle. He had had held important portfol­ios in Gujarat while Modi was CM, but his arrest in 2010 in a fake encounter case stalled reinduction. With elections for BJP presidentship looming, a decision on Shah’s fate will have to be taken sooner than later .


West Bengal
Chatterjee’s ‘Doosra’

With Prakash Karat’s exit as CPI(M) general secretary, the buzz is that former LS speaker Somnath Chatterjee might ret­urn to the party, under Sitaram Yechury. But his presence at a seminar on Nehru’s legacy held by the Bengal Congress has set tongues wagg­ing that he may be looking sympathetically at the party. Chatterjee has openly praised former PM Manmohan Singh on several occasions. And it was the Cong­ress-led UPA that was in power when he ref­u­sed to step down from his Spea­ker’s post even though his own party was withdrawing support on the N-bill. Chatterjee only smiles enigmatically in answer.


Madhya Pradesh
Price Of Permission

Even as Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar is being targeted for indiscriminate allocation of forest lands for commercial purposes, the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh is silently but surely pushing its own agenda. At least three hotels have come up on forest land in different parts of the state. Visiting bureaucrats have been surprised at framed photographs of top BJP leaders gracing the lobbies of these hotels. Having secured acres of priceless forest land for a pittance, these hotels ensure free, first-class hospitality for BJP leaders and their guests. What better way of saying ‘thank you’ than to anoint your walls with ‘benevolent’ faces?


Maharashtra
Wardrobe Malfunction

After Narendra Modi’s monog­r­ammed suit made (all the wrong) news, Ramadas Atha­wale’s shoes and suit (not his) are causing ripples. At the inauguration of the Ambedkar House memorial in London, where Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar stayed while pursuing economics, the Republican Party of India MP was seen wearing a pink tie and sports shoes with his brown check suit. Athawale is known for reeling out couplets in his speeches, and his costume has inspired a few couplets. One of them goes, “If you make fun of my shoes and my pink tie, none of you will get tomorrow’s breakfast and chai!”


Heard Pre-Diwali fireworks went off in the backyard of a top Union cabinet minister’s house on results day in Bihar. The address must remain under wraps, but we assure you it was in India.

Overheard A top corporate house, which has apparently tired of Modi, has been more than active in pushing the ‘intolerance’ debate. Did a string of ‘independent’ dissenters bear its sign?


Contributed by Ushinor Majumdar, Dola Mitra, Pavithra S. Rangan, Prachi Pinglay-Plumber and Mihir Srivastava

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