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IT WAS the engagement ceremony of Lok Sabha member Dushyant Chautala and Meghna Ahlawat, daughter of a senior IPS officer, at a five-star hotel at Gurugram on Tuesday. But the occasion turned into a family reunion of sorts. Dushyant’s grandfather, former Haryana chief minister and INLD president Om Prakash Chautala, and father Ajay Chautala, former MP, both serving prison terms in the JBT teachers’ recruitment case, made it to the function after obtaining parole. Former MP Ranjit Singh, Chautala’s younger brother, who was his arch political rival once upon a time, also turned up to join the family celebrations.
IT IS not just in Uttar Pradesh that the Congress is facing an alliance conundrum. The party is in two minds on entering into an alliance in Goa as well. Those in the know say general secretary in charge Digvijaya Singh is keen — rather pushing — that the party should go in for a Bihar-style grand alliance with the NCP and the one-year-old Goa Forward Party of Prabhakar Timble and Atanasio Monserrate, who was suspended from the Congress. Monserrate has already registered a new party. While state Congress president Luizinho Faleiro is said to be of the view that the party should go alone, he too is in favour of some limited cooperation with the NCP as its leader and former chief minister Churchill Alemao has some influence in the seat from where he is planning to contest.
THIS TIME the coincidence of a birthday has to come to offer fresh hopes to Captain Amarinder Singh. In 2012 assembly elections, victory for the Punjab PCC chief had seemed a forgone conclusion when the Badal family-controlled Shiromani Akali Dal pulled off a surprise victory. This year, the results would be announced on March 11, incidentally his 75th birthday. A tough electoral battle is still ahead but his aides in the party are already viewing this coincidence as a sure sign that Amarinder will have the last laugh.
ACTING DIRECTOR of CBI Rakesh Asthana has picked up his joint director (policy), the key post within CBI, replacing former joint director R S Bhatti. A Sai Manohar, an IPS officer from Madhya Pradesh cadre, is the new joint director (policy). Sai was earlier in charge of the CBI’s Chandigarh Zone. He had been assisting Asthana since last year when special investigation teams were set up to probe into the VVIP chopper scam and Vijay Mallya loan default case. Bhatti has been given charge of MDMA, set up to probe the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.