12 June 2017 The Insider

Deep Throat

A regular column on the essential buzz
Deep Throat
Cartoon by R. Prasad
Deep Throat
outlookindia.com
2017-06-03T11:26:18+0530

Emotional Infection

When Sushma Swaraj welco­med back Uzma Ahmad from Pakistan, hugging her and holding her hand, the minister’s family saw red. The ­minister had been advised to follow a strict hygiene regimen due to her low immunity after she had a kidney transplant six months ago. The doctors had reportedly warned her to limit contact with outsiders to minimise chances of infection. So handshakes with visiting dignitaries have been minimal and fleeting, followed by the use of sanitisers. Swaraj app­arently told her worried ­family that she couldn’t help hugging Uzma since both were overcome with emotion.

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Two Birds In Hand

The race for primacy between the two AIADMK factions ended up at PM Modi’s door. Former CM O. Panneerselvam (OPS) pipped his rival E.K. Palaniswami (EPS) to the post, becoming the first to meet Modi—a 95-minute meeting on May 19 with three associates in tow. OPS also got a one-on-one with the PM for 50 minutes, where he deman­ded a CBI probe into Jayalalitha’s death. Modi advised restraint until the presidential election was over. EPS, who hurriedly got an appointment and met Modi on May 24, also played the Jayalalitha card by inviting Modi to unveil her portrait in the Tamill Nadu Assembly in July. The meeting confirmed one thing: the BJP, which was hoping to control one AIADMK, is now in control of two AIADMKs.


Frenemical Banter

They do give sound bites against each other, but Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Congress leader Salman Khurshid were seen indulging in friendly banter with each other at an India Foundation function to felicitate the visiting Mauritian PM. They were sitting together and talking ani­matedly when Prasad stood up suddenly and said he had to leave as he was already late for an appointment he had given to a senior party colleague, who had quit the Congress to join the BJP before the UP polls. Khurshid apparently told him to stay a little longer, to “let her realise how good she had it in the Congress”.


Overheard “You saw what he gave Delhi; we can’t afford a repeat,” said a Swadeshi Jagran Manch leader when someone suggested roping in Anna Hazare for its proposed agitation against GM mustard.

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