Off The Record

Rudy, the scuba diver

Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, has never hidden his interest outside politics. For instance, everyone knows that he is a qualified Airbus pilot who used to fly Indigo planes across the country to clock the mandatory hours in the cockpit, which is needed to keep one's licence alive. But what's not known until last week is that Rudy, who defeated Lalu Prasad’s wife and former CM Rabri Devi in Saran, is now a trained scuba diver.

The other day, Lakshwadweep MP Mohammed Faizal came up with an interesting disclosure. “I would like to place on record that our honourable MoS Shri Rudyji has already visited Lakshadweep and he has taken his scuba diving course,” Faizal told the Lok Sabha.  Rudy smiled and chose silence even as other MPs looked for details.  

Shekhar Iyer, New Delhi

PM and his garden

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is quite impressed with the gardening  work at his official residence at 7, Race Course Road. On days when he is on long walks, he takes some time off to have a look at the new plants. Modi loves the aromatic variety of tulsi (holy basil). Every PM has had his own preferences though some PMs – Chandra Shekhar, Narasimha Rao and Deve Gowda – did not pay much attention to the garden. If A B Vajpayee loved to observe different types of flowers, Manmohan Singh wanted citrus trees to be planted.

SI, New Delhi


Tharoor again!

Former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor was in focus again on Friday as his efforts in drafting the Lok Sabha resolution condemning the release of Mumbai terror attack were appreciated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Tharoor took the lead role in finalising the language of the resolution, which after being vetted by Mallikarjun Kharge, landed in front of Modi who was present in the Lok Sabha. The PM instructed Tharoor to discuss the resolution with BJP veteran L K Advani.

The duo was soon joined by Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai. After hectic consultations, the draft was forwarded to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who made certain changes. Tharoor was again consulted and he returned to his seat after having a word with Modi. The PM was seen patting Tharoor on the shoulder acknowledging his efforts in the exercise.

Sagar Kulkarni, New Delhi


Trivedi’s style statement

Dinesh Trivedi, who once wanted to be a monk and later a fighter pilot but landed in politics, is a man of fine tastes. The flamboyant Trinamool Congress MP plays golf and sitar with same ease. He now silently watches how Suresh Prabhu goes ahead with reforms in the Indian Railways, which he could not usher due to politics.

But this 64-year-old MBA degree holder is no man who just fades away. He is seriously thinking of realising a dream by launching a Men’s Line of fashion. Trivedi likes to wear clothes designed by himself. The thought occurred to him when his friends started regularly asking him from where he got the clothes he wore. And when he told them that he designed it, some of them started pestering him to start a fashion line. Trivedi, who started designing clothes from his college days, says, “I was a model in my teenage. I am exposed to the world of fashion. I believe fashion should be subtle.” He is thinking of bringing designers from across the borders and launch his fashion store.

Shemin Joy, New Delhi

Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi? Who will win the battle royale of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019


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