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Deep Throat
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Deep Throat
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Karnataka
Next Man In

The post of Karnataka Lokay­u­kta, vacant since Justice Bhas­kar Rao quit following allega­t­ions that his son was running an extortion racket, is likely to be filled next week. The frontrunner is SC judge Justice Vikram­jit Sen, who retired on December 31. Though he hails from Delhi, the judge is no stranger to the state. Sen had served as chief justice of the Karnataka HC, and  had a good track record with fri­e­nds in high places. CM Sidda­ramaiah, keen to undo the flak over questionable appointm­ents, had in fact pushed back the consultative committee meeting to decide on the next Lokayukta in January in order to wait for Sen’s retirement.


New Delhi
Help From The Top

The curious case of an IAS off­i­cer of the AGMUT (Arun­a­chal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram & Union Territory) cadre  is keeping the offices of the UPSC abuzz. The babu, charged with siphoning away public funds, was on the verge of dismissal from service. But the PMO is said to have come to her rescue and returned the file with the noting that a rev­iew be done because ‘principles of natural justice’ had not been followed. Result: the file is again being scrutinised with a toothcomb. Meanwh­ile, the lady—her husband is an IAS officer too—is confident of getting justice from the PMO.


West Bengal
Pucca Cuppa

In the run-up to the 2014 election, Mani Shankar Aiyar’s gaffe on chaiwala candidates outside the AICC office provided fodder for Narendra Modi’s chai pe charcha. Now, Union commerce minister Nirmala Sitaraman is apparently taking it one step further, by trying to revive the BJP’s position in Bengal before the assembly elections by latching on to ‘tea’. The BJP has very little presence in the state, except for the Darjeeling seat. According to party insiders, Sitaraman had the “ingenious” idea of turning the woes of Darjeeling tea workers, recently in the news when a retired employee died, allegedly of malnutrition, to its advantage by making it an election issue.


Maharashtra
Landing In Trouble

The Mira Bhayander Municipal Cor­p­oration is turning out to be a tad troublesome for the BJP and CM Devendra Fadnavis. First, there was the row over the meat ban that MBMC annou­n­ced during the Jain observance of paryushan last year. Now, it turns out the land allotted for a new corporation building—for which the CM performed bhoomi puja—is illegal.  The construction was to happen on a private plot given by a developer (itself a curious proposal). However, it turns out it was a governm­ent plot, so now all construction has come to a stop till investigations are complete.


Heard A brief titter arose among guests at the wedding reception for Arun Jaitley’s daughter. Reason: there was no ready table for his mentor, ‘Loh Purush’ L.K. Advani.

Overheard Former newspaper editor and ambassador H.K. Dua is said to have vacated his official accommodation as a Rajya Sabha member two days before his term came to a close.


Contributed by Dilip Bobb, Uttam Sengupta, Dola Mitra, Prachi Pinglay-Plumber, Bula Devi and Pritam Sengupta

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