AKG Bhawan,the CPM office in Delhi,had an interesting visitor on Wednesday and Thursday. DMK leader T R Baalu drove to the office twice to meet Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury to seek CPMs support for his partys nominee,most probably Kanimozhi,for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections. DMK has 23 members in the assembly and needs 34 votes to get its candidate elected. In return,DMK is learnt to have offered to back a CPM nominee next year. While the offer is attractive,at least to a section of CPM,the problem is that CPM has already pledged its support to the candidature of CPIs D Raja,who is seeking a re-election from Tamil Nadu. Raja,interestingly,had approached DMKs arch-rival AIADMK for support but failed.
COLD AIR ON BLUESTAR
FOR around three decades,there has been a mystery around the origin of the term Operation Bluestar,the 1984 Army action in Golden Temple to flush out Sikh militants. Some believed Bluestar was a coded signal while others said it was a reference to the turbans worn by Sikhs. It now emerges that the name has rather humble origins. In his recently-released autobiography,Lt Gen (retd) V K Nayar,then posted in the Directorate General of Military Operations,has disclosed how he and his colleague were discussing the possible name of the operation while driving in a car. Just then,they crossed a huge signboard for Blue Star Refrigeration. And thus was found the name for one of the most famous Army operations in the country.
THE All India Football Federation is going to bid to host the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup. The Cabinet has approved a proposal to submit guarantees sought by the AIFF for its bid. The AIFF has proposed to hold the matches in Delhi,West Bengal,Maharashtra,Karnataka and one venue in Kerala,Assam or Goa. Kerala is said to be a last-minute addition,thanks to Food Minister K V Thomas. He is learnt to have convinced Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to consider the candidature of Kerala as well. No prizes for guessing which city in Kerala does Thomas wants this game staged. Kochi,his hometown and parliamentary constituency,has an impressive football stadium.
THE controversy over kickbacks in the VVIP chopper deal is set to return to limelight with a case against top executives of the Italian firm set to begin in Italy next week. Accused in the past of not taking the case seriously,the government has cleared a team to travel to Italy for the hearing. Leading the delegation is author-bureaucrat Upamanyu Chatterjee,the Joint Secretary in charge of acquisition of land systems.