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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Kolkata confidential

When in a good mood,Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee is known to give beauty tips to scribes.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: March 2, 2009 4:37:24 am

Best face forward
When in a good mood,Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee is known to give beauty tips to scribes. But before the all-important media conference the day her party won the Bishnupur West constituency,all of a sudden she started speaking on the importance of looking one’s best. “Looking good is important for everybody. As for a woman,one doesn’t need to wear make-up or use lip-stick to look good. Sometimes by wearing simple clothes you may look beautiful,” she said. Did Mamata,who has spartan habits,mean herself? Nobody could figure out. And nobody dared ask.

Systemic crash
Morning shows the day,they say. The adage came true last week at the inaugural ceremony of the statewide e-governance,attended by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. It was 5 in the afternoon and the first grassroots officer the IT officials at the Writers’ conference room connected the CM with was the BDO of Patharpratima in South 24 Parganas. “Good morning sir,” the officer greeted Bhattacharjee. “It’s no longer morning,” the CM reminded him. And for the next 40 minutes despite the IT officials’ best efforts,all connections with the blocks and sub-divisions went haywire. An exasperated CM left in a huff,telling the officers that they had no control over things.

With the Lok Sabha polls round the corner,the government has begun several foundation programmes for various big-budget projects. Interestingly,very few of the ceremonies were held at the project site. Most were held at either five star hotels or air-conditioned (AC) auditoriums. For instance,the foundation stone for the Light Rail Transit System (LRTS) project was “laid” in the Taj Bengal instead of the project site at Joka. And the stone for the Kumartuli renovation project was “laid” in an AC auditorium at Bagbazar.

Of late,the prime attraction at Mamata Banerjee’s Kalighat home is samosas. So much so,that important press conferences get delayed as TMC leaders and media persons alike wait to tuck in. The samosas,which arrive during the evening,have even stopped an ongoing media conference. The conference restarted after everyone had their share. “Dada,the samosas are irresistible. Even political discussions take a backseat,when they come,” said a senior party leader apologetically.

Not cricket
Call it the Board politics or a clash of egos between two selectors — the fact remains that cricketers Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Manoj Tiwary,have been made competitors for captaincy of the Bengal team despite the fact that they both fight for a same cause — earn glory for the Bengal Ranji team. Tiwary has been made the East Zone captain for the upcoming Deodhar Trophy,much to the chagrin of Bengal chief selector Sambaran Banerjee. The latter wanted Shukla to get the job as he leads the Bengal Ranji Team. The BCCI-appointed selector from East Zone,Raja Venkat,was adamant that Tiwary should get the job and had the backing of three selectors in the selection meeting at Guwahati last week.

Shukla is considered Jagmohan Dalmiya’s choice as he has the CAB’s vote of confidence. So the BCCI seems to be against his nomination. Bottomline,cricket takes a beating.

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