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Deep Throat

A regular column on the essential buzz

Deep Throat
Illustration by Saahil
Deep Throat
outlookindia.com
2016-05-13T20:59:39+0530

Tamil Nadu
Change Of heart

Last year, K. Selvaperunthagai shocked SPG personnel protecting Rahul Gandhi by crawling close to him at an event. It was later learnt he was a former LTTE supporter. The Congress believes he is a changed man; it has given him a ticket for the SC-reserved Sriperumbudur assembly seat. He was once close to P. Chidambaram, who, sources say, vouched for him when he joined the party in 2009 and was appointed head of its SC/ST cell.  Accused in the murder of Pandian, former accountant for Chidambaram’s cousin A.C. Muthiah, Selvaper­untha­gai broke his leg while trying to evade arrest by jumping from his first-floor residence.


Maharashtra
Paper Tiger

Even before the ink had dried on the National Herald saga, starring the Gandhis, the pixels are popping around another mas­thead from the past, The Patriot. Efforts to revive the left-leaning Delhi paper as a weekly tabloid hit a minor bump after a top journalist, sounded out as a possible hel­msman of the venture, turned up with an exclusive interview with Indrani Mukherjea for the relaunch issue that was too good to be true. Unfortunately for those footing the bill, it was. Neither had he met the controversial TV executive in jail, nor her lawyers.


Kerala
Cross-Border Politics

The working president of the state ‘bar’ association, Biju Ramesh, was apparently planning to shift his liquor business to Tamil Nadu lock, stock and barrel. A bitter critic of the state government’s  decision to shut down liquor bars, he publicly announced he would open a 100 bars in Tamil Nadu. How much he contributed to the AIADMK is not known, but there were no surprises when the party fielded him as its Thiruvananthapuram candidate. Now, he finds himself at a loss with Amma suddenly talking of enforcing prohibition in phases. At election meetings, he half-heartedly praises Amma, but some followers say he’s seething—and with good reason.


Jammu & Kashmir
Out, In And Out Again?

Srinagar is sometimes called the ‘rumour capital’, but the buzz that some separatist leaders in prison are to be released is said to be credible. Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti is believed to have personally reviewed many such cases. The surprise is the name of Masarat Alam, a close aide of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Alam was released last year after a four-year stretch. But the then CM had to rearrest him after he raised slogans in favour of Pakistan and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed at a public rally. Now, how will Mehbooba’s partner BJP react?


Heard If the Aam Aadmi Party decides to contest the Goa assembly election next year, a well-known Delhi-based TV anchor of Goan origin could be the party’s chief ministerial face

Overheard A Union minister received a CD containing pictures of him with a Tollywood actress after a heated exchange with the chief minister of his home state in an airport lounge


Contributed by Ushinor Majumdar, Minu Ittyipe, Pritam Sengupta, Showkat A. Motta and Uttam Sengupta

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