The TDP MPs, who do not miss a chance to ensure that their protest grabs media attention, donned yellow and demonstrated in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue before the Parliament session began. On Monday, they were joined by an unexpected guest. Congress MP Renuka Chowdhury went to them, paid tribute at the Gandhi statue and started shouting slogans. Suddenly she took the lead and asked them to repeat the slogans she raised. Caught unawares, the TDP MPs followed her instructions and repeated the slogans on Telugu pride and special status. Soon, the group was joined by N Sivaprasad, who has been amusing Parliament by dressing up differently every day. Today, he was dressed in yellow silk sari, sporting a wig and a bindi.
Even as India and Pakistan are harassing each other’s diplomats — including by ringing doorbells at 3 am — Indian envoy in Islamabad Ajay Bisaria hosted a Holi party on Saturday evening. A local singer, Azeem Sabir, along with his troupe, sang popular film songs and ghazals from both sides of the border. Those who attended included the Secretary-General of the Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP), Farhatullah Babar, the former Chairman Senate, Waseem Sajjad, the legendary ‘Kathak dancer’ in Pakistan Indo Mitha and journalist Hamid Mir. “No diplomacy or politics today please! Today we are celebrating Holi and we should talk about good things only,” Bisaria is said to have told the guests, even as Indian Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh entertained the guests.
Wait And Watch
Expelled BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui, who was virtually the Muslim face of the party, recently joined the Congress. The second senior Muslim leader of the party, Munquad Ali, is set to retire from Rajya Sabha next week. Ali has failed to get renomination for the Rajya Sabha elections, fuelling speculation that he may well be drifting apart from the party, given that BSP chief Mayawati expelled his son from the party last December. However, another Muslim leader of the party, former Rajya Sabha member Salim Ansari, is learnt to be not considering ditching Mayawati despite his expulsion from the party last year. He seems to be waiting patiently, looking for opportunity to work for the BSP again.