I have 9 lives. You know that, right? In fact, 9 is my lucky number. 'Feline fetish' some might call it. Since I am so simply obsessed with the number between 8 and 10, let me give you 9 pieces of catty chat which did not make the headlines last week. Fast forward then, no paws (sorry, pause)!
1. The business head of the world's largest English newspaper wrote a scathing article against NaMo on the editorial pages of the venerable daily. Flutter, flutter! Did he really write the article or was it ghost written by the owner-genius of the newspaper? Is the Old Lady of Boribunder officially taking on NaMo in the run up to Lok Sabha 2014? Are NaMo's public relations honchos scurrying for cover? Should management types be allowed to spew on edit pages? Hmmm…
2. Now that the dates for the Assembly elections for 5 States have been announced, the next question being asked is when will the winter session of Parliament begin? December 8 is Results Day. Considering Parliamentary Affairs mantri Kamal Nath has got his hands (and other parts of his anatomy, some cynics say!) full with elections in his home state of Madhya Pradesh, he would hardly be interested in the action in the LS or RS. Maybe then the winter session of Parliament will only kick off after December 8. What say?
3. Last year the senior most BJP member of the Indian delegation to attend the annual United Nations General Assembly Session in New York was LK Advani. He had his faithful puppy Ananth Kumar for company. This year Arun Jaitley addressed the General Assembly. The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, a great favorite with fawning journos in Central Hall, had to join a longish queue of diplomats at immigration at JFK. He took it sportingly and did not throw rank (not that the Americans would have cared!). Sure, Jaitley will spend some of his time in the Big Apple trying to get a visa for the Big M.
4. Sachin Tendulkar's retirement simply means the third last row of the Rajya Sabha will now have somebody whose attendance will improve. Big contest on for who has the worst attendance in Parliament - Rekha or Tendulkar. What are the odds neither of them will deliver their maiden speech through 2013 and 2014?
5. Strong buzz in some corridors of south Dilli and central Lucknow that the Congress is keeping the Mayawati option open. A BSP-Congress pre- poll alliance will really rattle Amit Shah's plans to deliver 40 of the 80 seats in UP to his boss.
6. An Indian industrialist who happened to be on the same international flight with Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi on their way back to Delhi, was keen to genuflect and show how he loved the Congress. The younger Gandhi smiled politely. Her mother gave the fawning industrialist the cold shoulder. A second industrialist in the same First Class cabin said the Gandhi ladies came onto the flight without any fuss or hangers on. Good lesson for other Congress netas to follow. No?
7. PRS Legislative is not providing research assistants to 40 MPs this year. Official reason: it is election season. Unofficial buzz: no sponsor. Pity. Great opportunity lost all around.
8. Why are we hearing that Smriti Irani maybe a BJP candidate from Delhi in 2014? Why are we hearing that Navjot Singh Siddhu, the missing Lok Sabha MP, is hoping the BJP (read NaMo) Selection Committee asks him to bat soon in the Rajya Sabha?
9. Ask chauffeurs and domestic helpers working for MPs across party lines in Delhi one question: who are they voting for in the Assembly elections? Congress/BJP?: Nope! Most are fans of Arvind Kejriwal.
Seen Sachin thrashing the bowlers in the field! Will the God of Cricket do the same in Parliament? Eager to see!
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