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Delhi Confidential: Centre of attraction

A number of people wanted to click a ‘selfie’ with him, and he obliged quite a few of them.

By: Express News Service | Updated: October 19, 2016 6:58:07 pm

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was quite a sought-after VIP at the wedding reception of BJP president Amit Shah’s son on Sunday. A number of people wanted to click a ‘selfie’ with him, and he obliged quite a few of them. And when one of them struggled with his camera phone, Fadnavis even took the phone and figured out what needed to be done to click the ‘selfie’. However, it was not just ‘selfies’ for which people sought him out. A few of the guests were heard inquiring about their files pending with the Maharashtra government. Another guest at the centre of attraction was yoga guru Baba Ramdev.

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After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attempt to bring in thaw in the ties, Pakistan is releasing 173 Indian prisoners (including 172 fishermen) who will be repatriated to India through Wagah. This has taken the number of prisoners, who have been released so far during Narendra Modi government’s tenure, to about 600. The Pakistan High Commission is now hoping that India will respond in equal measure.

A meeting between visiting Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu is being viewed as a business opportunity for the cash strapped Railways. After helping Sri Lanka restore its war-ravaged rail network with the use of a line of credit extended by India, the Railways wants to politely remind Sirisena that the remaining line of credit should be used to buy rolling stock from the Indian Railways. Accordingly, Prabhu was furnished with details of what Sri Lanka might need to buy. The list includes around 940 passenger coaches, around 70 diesel locomotives and a DMU train set.

This one is surely going to amuse Sonia Gandhi. A party secretary has written to the Congress president seeking permission for workers to hold a day-long ‘maun-vrat’ (vow of silence) outside the AICC headquarters to “awaken the conscience” of some of the top office-bearers, who, he said, should resign for the damage they have caused to the party. Anees Durrani has said these office-bearers have not just misused their party positions for personal gain but took wrong decisions that made Congress look like an upper caste party. Durrani has not taken any names but no one doubts who his targets are. What is not clear, however, is at whose behest he is firing his shots.

So many former insiders have hit out at Congress in recent times that Jairam Ramesh thought it fit to let out a flurry of disclaimers before beginning to talk about his new book ‘Green Signals’. “This is not a Sanjay Baru or Natwar Singh kind of book,” he said, referring to the tell-all books of the former confidants of Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, respectively. “No conversations have been reported in the book, neither real nor imagined,” he went further. “This is not an attempt to settle any political scores. There is no masala,” he said. Ramesh’s book is the story of his two-year stint in the Environment Ministry during UPA-2.

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