The guest list

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written to the Shahi Imam,saying she was trying to postpone a meeting to attend the reception.

Written by The Indian Express | Published: December 7, 2013 12:59 am

The reception for the newly wed son and daughter-in-law of Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Ahmed Bukhari Saturday evening is likely to be attended by a host of dignitaries and politicians across party lines. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written to the Shahi Imam,saying she was trying to postpone a meeting to attend the reception in Delhi. She has assured him that if she is unable to make it,she would definitely come to bless the couple later this month. It turns out that she is sending Mukul Roy to attend the reception and she herself would land in Delhi Monday evening. SP chief Mulayam Singh,despite his party’s increasing distance from the cleric,has reportedly confirmed his attendance,as have Vice President Hamid Ansari and Union minister Farooq Abdullah.

OFF THE MARK?

With exit polls grabbing headlines after the polling in Delhi,there is much chatter around their veracity. Several observers recall that exit polls in the same set of states in 2008 had also given BJP a 4-0 scoreline but the results were dramatically different. Communications Advisor to the PM and himself a TV veteran,Pankaj Pachauri,scoured the Internet and actually tweeted a few compilations showing how exit polls in 2004 and 2009 national polls missed reality by far more than a shot.

BACK TO CLASSROOM

While some IAS officers resign to take up more promising jobs in the private sector,there are others who do it for further studies and even to take up journalism. That is what Kerala cadre IAS officer G Kamal Vardhana Rao wants to do. Having served as private secretary to former HRD minister of state D Purandeshwari under UPA I,Rao went on to chair the Tobacco Board and is currently Kerala’s Revenue Secretary. He is learnt to have put in his papers to pursue PhD in Urban Planning from Central University in Hyderabad and is even mulling journalism as a career option. The 1990-batch officer was recently in news for his reports to the high court on the Kadakampally and Pathadipalam land-grab cases allegedly involving a former gunman of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

STILL IN DEMAND

BJP patriarch LK Advani may have taken a back seat leaving Narendra Modi and his associates to plan and execute the 2014 poll preparations,but he is still much sought after by foreign dignitaries. While it was former Singapore prime minister Goh Chok Tong who called on him on Friday,he had a high-profile global leader,Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama,visiting him on Thursday.

STRENGTHENING TIES

With a thaw in Iran’s relations with the international community,India is moving fast to ensure it does not get left behind in expanding its relations with the nation. As a first step,Deputy National Security Advisor Nehchal Sandhu is being sent to Iran next week for high-level meetings in which various strategic ventures,including fast tracking the Chabahar port,will be discussed. Sandhu,it seems,has been chosen to travel in the region and earlier this year also went to Afghanistan to meet top security officials.

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