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Deep Throat

A regular column on the essential buzz

Deep Throat
Illustration by Saahil
Deep Throat
outlookindia.com
2016-06-03T20:12:04+0530

Uttar Pradesh
Never Too Old For A Bash

Most godmen are not known to celebrate their birthdays. Nor is 79-year-old Nritya Gopal Das, head of the Ramjanambhoomi Trust, known to have done so. But at 79, he and his followers have decided to celebrate. Something may be cooking in Ayodhya ahead of the assembly elections. Former CM Kalyan Singh, who during his tenure had acquired land around the Babri mosque for “tourism promotion” and built a platform there for bhajan performance, is pushing 84, and saying he’s out of active politics. But with the OBC leader’s name cropping up time and again as a pre-electoral face of the BJP, all eyes are now on the bash in Ayodhya.


Andhra Pradesh
No Dynasty For Naidu

What’s keeping Chandrababu Naidu from promoting son Lokesh and brother-in-law Nandamuri Harikrishna? Unlike Telangana CM K. Chandras­ekhara Rao, Naidu has stubbornly resisted suggestions to induct his son into the cabinet. It’s no secret Harikrishna badly wanted an RS nomination but was sidelined. The bitterness now is such that Harikrishna recently paid tributes to NTR on his birth anniversary at the NTR Ghat but refused to attend Telugu Desam’s annual conclave. No one’s sure if this indicates a family rift or Naidu’s bid to stand apart from other pols.


Jammu & Kashmir
Big Game Theory

The ‘Game’ is on to split the Hurriyat, says the buzz in the Valley. Purse-strings have been loosened and soon a ‘real Hurriyat’ is set to emerge from the ‘azadi’ camp. There will be new faces, lawyers among them, who will not give up their call for ‘azadi’ but will demand ‘development’ meanwhile. This ‘Third Front’ is readying for the next elections so that non-BJP votes can be split. Money, promoters have been told, is no constraint. Although this is the latest conspiracy theory, hardliners are not impressed. New Delhi, they say, has tried similar exercises in the past as well but never succeeded. Some more people in the process will get rich is the cynical reaction.


Delhi
Passing The Buck

One of the achievements of the Modi government, claimed Prakash Javadekar, is finalisation of  the Draft Wetland Rules, 2016. The rules were last revised in 2010 but were rarely followed. The Central Wetland Authority has met only once. Although wetlands like Vembanad Kol Wetland in Kerala, Loktak lake in Manipur and Chilika lake in Orissa provide livelihood to lots of people, they complain that both the UPA and the NDA have treated them like wastelands. Destruction of wetlands has caused disastrous flooding; the new rules, experts say, pass the buck to the states.


Heard Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan has conveyed to the government his decision to go back to the United States on the expiry of his term in September.

Overheard In the HRD ministry: “If Smriti Irani cannot be shifted to another ministry or sent off to UP to lead the party’s campaign, can she replace the Gujarat chief minister at least?”


Contributed by Uttam Sengupta, Ushinor Majumdar, Sharat Pradhan, Madhavi Tata, Showkat Motta and Bula Devi

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