Off the record

Off the record

Naidu’s BP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured NDA vice-presidential candidate M Venkaiah Naidu that the treasury benches would not allow his blood pressure to rise in the Rajya Sabha. Naidu, who is set to be elected because of huge numbers that favour the NDA, will also be the chairman of the Rajya Sabha where the ruling NDA is in a minority. The ruling side and the Opposition have clashed bitterly in the Upper House, leading to disruptions.

“It’s our assurance that we will not allow your BP to shoot up in the Rajya Sabha. We will continue to give as much support as we can,” Modi told him at a BJP meeting called to felicitate Naidu on being picked as the NDA’s VP candidate. Modi’s word to Naidu was greeted with applause. BJP MPs recalled that Naidu had a tough time as the parliamentary affairs minister, with the opposition refusing to let the House function even as the government remained firm on not conceding to any of its demands.
Shekhar Iyer, New Delhi

‘Concerned’ fan

The arrest of actor Dileep, in connection with the abduction and molestation of an actress, has dominated social media discussions for two weeks. As the case unfolds with grim twists, the arrest continues to generate unintentional humo­ur on the sidelines — most of it centred on mainstream media’s coverage of the turn of events. The actor’s fans have tried res­istance with sardonic Facebook posts on how he is being linked to everything from local accidents to the Syria crisis.

Following ‘leaks’ on the actor’s first breakfast in prison (upma, reportedly), an audio clip featuring a “worried” fan is doing the social media rounds. In the audio, a man calls up a news channel office and asks, “Sir, did Dileep eat anything this afternoon?” The receiver of the call responds, a tad too cautiously, that he will check and get back. He, like most of us, isn’t sure: is this frenzied fan behaviour, or just plain sarcasm?
R Krishnakumar,

The Bro Code

A day after army soldiers reportedly roughed up policemen and ransacked a police station in the Ganderbal area en route to the Amarnath cave shrine, a corps commander in the restive region said the twin forces were “brothers in arms.” “Efforts to create divide between army and police by anti-nationals won’t work. We are together always works as brothers in arms (sic),” the Chinar Corps Commander said in a tweet.

Earlier, the army had said that the matter was resolved “amicably” post thrashing. The soldiers injured six policemen for supposedly stopping their vehicle at a check-post. It was only after this muscle-flexing that the two went in for a ‘jaadu ki jhappi.’ But then, a question. Amid high alert across Kashmir, how did the cops allow men in civvies to trespass into a fortified police station? What if they were not army jawans but a fidayeen squad?
Zulfikar Majid, Srinagar

Fat payslip

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh appears to have finely rewarded his top team of media advisers, press and political secretaries and senior adviser. Each adviser and political secretary of the CM will cost the state exchequer nearly Rs 3 lakh a month. Their revised remunerations will include accommodation, official car, allowances for telephone, fuel, reimbursement for medical bills, personal staff including driver, peon etc.

The CM’s senior adviser, Lt Gen T S Shergill (rtd), has been allowed to draw his last pay as a General along with the perks of a minister. The CM’s media adviser, financial adviser and adviser enjoy a minister of state (MoS) rank and will now take home Rs 1.5 lakh per month, besides perks and allowances. This is much more than the pay of a cabinet minister. The CM’s three political secretaries and the press secretary will draw Rs 1.25 lakh monthly.
Gautam Dheer, Chandigarh

Good, little Samaritans

Recently, a 13-year-old boy saw a puppy that had met with an accident, lying severely injured in front of his house at the Pallavaram area in the outskirts of Chennai. The boy also noticed that the dog was starving. He and his sister took the efforts to provide water and a few slices of bread to the pup.

The next day, the children made sure that their parents lodged a complaint with Blue Cross officials to rescue the dog. However, owing to a busy schedule, Blue Cross could not respond the same day. When the skies opened that night, the boy arranged for a makeshift shelter for the dog. The next day, a Blue Cross ambulance came and took away the puppy for treatment. The relieved boy and his sister tipped the ambulance driver from their savings. 
Sathyanarayana R, Chennai

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