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Ganga By The Sea Devotees wait for a dip in the river on Mauni Amavasya in the Kumbh Mela, Allahabad
Photograph by PTI
Deep Throat
outlookindia.com
2019-02-08T11:15:05+0530

Seat Charade

Election season throws up all kinds of arithmetic and chemistry. Take urban Bangalore’s two Lok Sabha seats. Bangalore South was held by the late H.N. Ananth Kumar consecutively since 1996 and it’s not clear who the BJP will choose this time. In Bangalore North, there’s been speculation about Janata Dal (Secular) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda shifting there. Union minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda is the MP from this seat. But it was former Karnataka chief minister S.M. Krishna —not much in the public eye since joining the BJP two years ago—who piqued curiosity last week. Is a high-voltage battle between Gowda and Krishna on the cards?


Twice Bitten

Patna University’s teachers and students should have jumped for joy when Congress president Rahul Gandhi, at a recent rally in Bihar, promised central university status to the institution. But they didn’t. Central status has been an old demand of the university, the seventh oldest in the country, once known as the Oxbridge of the East. But successive governments have ignored the plea despite its alumni list containing such prominent names such as chief minister Nitish Kumar, Laoo Prasad Yadav, Sushil Kumar Modi, Yashwant Sinha, and Shatrughan Sinha. Then again, when the UPA government (2004-2014) established two new central universities, in Motihari and Gaya, the institution in Patna, founded in 1917, was conveniently overlooked


Ring A Bell

Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi last week rang up Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Geelani to discuss “human rights” in Kashmir. After the call to the Mirwaiz, a Hurriyat moderate, New Delhi summoned Islamabad’s envoy to protest the “brazen attempt by Pakistan to subvert India’s unity”. The Pakistanis followed it up by calling the hawkish Geelani. The separatists hope the calls may translate into a bilateral dialogue between the neighbours—now that arch-enemies Taliban and the US are talking in Doha on American troop withdrawal in Afghanistan. Wishful thinking, security analysts say.

 

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