Off the record

Off the record

Patel power

Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have noted in his latest radio address that Gujarat returned to calm quickly after the Patel community vent their anger over police action against protesters who were demanding OBC quota. But BJP insiders say it took more than Modi’s public appeal to bring the situation under control. If they are to be believed, the PM spoke to several officials and Patel community leaders to rein in the troublemakers who surprised everyone by the scale of violence.

Even as the incidents have raised a question mark over the future of Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and her administrative ability, there was no end to “conspiracy” theories that have started floating around. The big unanswered question is who was behind the police action that led to the violence. Some have sought to point fingers at Modi's rival VHP leader Pravin Togadia (a Patel himself) and Anandiben Patel’s rivals within the BJP who don’t think that she can successfully lead the party to a fourth term in power. Shekhar Iyer, New Delhi

CM ambitions

For the record, Union Minister and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan has said he will back any NDA candidate for the CM’s post in the event of a BJP-led victory in the Bihar assembly elections. But he cannot help going down memory lane to emphasise that former PM A B Vajpayee had endorsed him to be CM in 2000.

“LK Advani, Yashwant Sinha, George Fernandes, Sharad Yadav and Nitish Kumar were also present at the meeting. Everyone voiced their opinion. Then Vajpayeeji said that make Ram Vilas ji the CM, the government will run smoothly as he has a nature of taking everyone along. Then I went to him and said don’t push me into this. He said fine go ahead and make others CM but the government won't run. And after eight days the government fell in Bihar,” Paswan recalled.
SI, New Delhi

Dimple’s future

Even the mighty and successful want to know what the future has in store for them. Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav’s wife and Lok Sabha MP Dimple Yadav, apparently eager to know about her future, resorted to parrot astrology. At a recent function organised by women entre-preneurs in Lucknow, Dimple was taken to a stall where an astrologer was busy telling the fortune of curious women with the help of a parrot.

A perplexed astrologer pleaded with the bird to take out a card from among hundreds. The bird did not respond immediately. After a few seconds of desperate pleading, the bird did take out a card which was handed over to Dimple by the astrologer. Dimple went through it and then returned it to the astrologer. It was not known what was there in the card and none asked.
Sanjay Pandey, Lucknow

Angry young man

After around a year off from J&K politics to overcome a serious renal trouble, former CM and National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah is back to active life. Abdullah, who got a new lease of life through kidney donated by his better-half, is trying to revive the party, that was defeated in the last year Assembly elections when he was hospitalised in England. But he is back with a bang.

From making his party cadres voice “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” to “PDP Hai Hai”, Abdullah Sr is in a never before seen aggressive avatar: this time romancing his political comeback. News reports reveal that unlike his son Omar, Abdullah Sr is getting an overwhelming response from within and outside the party. The old man is acting angry young man, all for the sake of his party.
Zulfikar Majid, Srinagar

Katju vs MPs
Former SC judge Justice Markandey Katju’s latest sojourn has irony multiplied. Known for his iconoclastic views, he efficiently uses his blog ‘Satyam Bruyat’ and tweets to express his ideas on different issues. But when both Houses of Parliament condemned him in March for describing Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose as British and Japanese agents, respectively, he had to approach the Supreme Court to protect his fundamental right to freedom of speech.

He also questioned parliament’s competence to criticise him without giving him a hearing. The SC bench felt though he has freedom to express his views, others had similar right to disagree with him. It’s a rarity for a former SC judge to approach the apex court for protecting his right.

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