West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s musical walk to the venue of Mother Teresa’s canonisation ceremony at the Vatican made headlines recently. Now, one of her aides has posted on Facebook a video of the rehearsal session in Rome. The video shows the chief minister and some journalists practising the songs that were to be sung, with Banerjee deciding every detail, including the order and scale of the songs.
Back To The Beginning
During the BRICS urbanisation forum in Visakhapatnam recently, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu reminisced about his bond with the city. It was in this port town that Naidu was initiated into politics as the ABVP’s student union president during his days at the Andhra University Law College. Later, when he joined the Jayaprakash Narayan movement and took to the streets to protest the Emergency, he was put behind bars in Visakhapatnam jail. “It was here that I got the courage to fight against Indira Gandhi and join active politics,” he recalled.
South Block mandarins are wondering whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday will be uneventful in terms of Indo-Pak relations. Last December, on Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif’s birthday, Modi’s phone call had led to an unexpected turn of events and an unscheduled Lahore stopover. This time, nobody in South Block is ruling out a possible reciprocal gesture. However, with the Kashmir issue dominating the discourse, many are expecting a birthday message and not a phone call. A South Block insider, however, notes that both leaders are capable of surprising the bureaucracy.
Union MoS for Culture Mahesh Sharma recently arrived an hour late for a function in Meerut. When he apologised, citing clogged roads, the public started complaining about the long-pending work on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway. With UP Assembly elections just months away, Sharma immediately said he would take up the matter with Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.