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Caught in the middle

Pat came the reply from Patel: “Pahle aap dono taya karo (First,you two decide amongst yourselves).”

Written by Express News Service | Published: July 27, 2012 12:49 am

Caught in the middle

During the standoff between the Congress and the NCP early this week,when Union Minister Praful Patel approached Congress president Sonia Gandhi at a function in the Central Hall of Parliament,she said,“Praful,kuch to karo (Praful,do something).” Before Patel could react,Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj,who was standing nearby,intervened: “Kuch mat karo (Don’t do anything).” Pat came the reply from Patel: “Pahle aap dono taya karo (First,you two decide amongst yourselves).”

FIRST POST

WHILE West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar are competing with each other to get Pranab Mukherjee to make his first Presidential visit to their respective states,Pravin Togadia of the VHP might have become the first to petition the new President. On Thursday,Togadia sent a petition to “President of Bharat” drawing his attention to the “ethnic cleansing of original tribes,other Hindus and non-Muslims” in Assam. The petition greeted the President with a “Nomoskar” and ended with the hope to see “serene Durga Puja celebrations in your Presidential palace”.

FLIGHT CANCELLATION

WHILE a high-level delegation led by Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken has left for the London Olympics,the plan of another minister to join them has been scuttled. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla’s request to go to London for the opening ceremony has apparently been turned down by the Prime Minister because of the upcoming elections for Vice-President.

COMMUNAL FEARS

THE group of six Muslim MPs who met Home Minister P Chidambaram to express concern over the violence in Assam was originally supposed to be a much bigger contingent. It is learnt that K Rahman Khan,the Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka who was leading the group,had got in touch with about 25 MPs who had stayed back in Delhi after the Presidential swearing-in to go and meet the Home Minister. Many of them had agreed but backed out later. Till about an hour before the appointed time,about 10 MPs were supposed to go. But four of them decided against it at the last minute. It is learnt that some Muslim MPs were slightly uncomfortable about making it an issue of Muslim solidarity and feared that it might communalise the situation further.

QUICK RELEASE

THE Prime Minister’s Office has never been so active in releasing information to the media. Since Pranab Mukherjee resigned as Finance Minister to run for President on June 25,as many as 22 media releases from the PMO have been put on the Press Information Bureau website,almost one every day. A slight lull was observed between July 3 and 11 before the enthusiasm picked up again. This,apart from updates on Twitter that have become a regular feature now.

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