Monday, Sep 22, 2014
Posted: October 16, 2013 1:07 am

Defence Minister A K Antony’s first public engagement after spending a month in hospital was to the Vietnamese Embassy to pay homage,on behalf of the government,to Gen Vo Nguyen Giap,a well-known commander of the Vietnam war who died earlier this month at the age of 102 years. Antony considers Gen Giap a personal hero since childhood and shares a unique connection with the military leader. The last international delegation received by the war hero was in 2007,when Antony visited Vietnam,and the two shared a great rapport. The General surprised the Indian delegation by praising the giant strides made in the field of technology and IT by India.

Wrong tune

Those who called up Food Minister K V Thomas on his official mobile number in the last couple of days were surprised to find the Aam Aadmi Party’s campaign song as his caller tune. According to the minister’s staff,he had the caller tune for about two days before it was brought to his notice. He immediately instructed his staff to find out how it could have happened. They are now trying to determine if it happened inadvertently or if it was the work of some mischievous elements. Meanwhile,Thomas has changed his caller tune to “Vande Mataram”.

United front

Party patriarch L K Advani is slated to visit Gujarat on Wednesday — his first visit to the state since Narendra Modi’s anointment as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate. The two have,however,shared the dais (in Bhopal) and attended party parliamentary board meetings together since the announcement. Both Advani and Modi are scheduled to attend the meeting of the Somnath Trust on Wednesday. Modi is also expected to accompany Advani to his constituency for opening a river front park. Advani’s keenness to participate in constituency development work and Modi’s presence has got tongues wagging in the party. Advani was initially slated to visit Gujarat on September 23 to attend the meeting of the Somnath Trust,but he skipped it to attend the National Integration Council meeting in the capital the same day.

The listener

There were some comic moments at the Sardar Patel memorial lecture on Tuesday evening. When the moderator made the announcement for a bouqet to be presented to National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon,there was silence as everyone waited for the flowers to arrive. It turned out that there were no bouquets. So the moderator quickly said,“Flowers or no flowers,we welcome the NSA”. And when it was time to introduce him,Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar said that whenever he has had a conversation with Menon,it has been a monologue,with him speaking and Menon listening. So,he said,this time Menon would be speaking for a “longish period” while he would listen quietly.

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