Coffee Clique

Nostalgia marked a chance meeting between Congress president Sonia Gandhi and senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh in the Central Hall

Written by Express News Service | Published: April 23, 2013 12:57:09 am

Nostalgia marked a chance meeting between Congress president Sonia Gandhi and senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh in the Central Hall on Monday. Union ministers Kamal Nath,Jayanthi Natarajan and Kumari Selja also happened to be around. Singh recalled that the late Piloo Mody,the irrepressible Swatantra Party MP,had been sitting with some colleagues when he saw the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi hurriedly pass by. “Madam Prime Minister,why are you always in such a hurry,” he called out to her. “Come,have some coffee with us,” he insisted. Indira Gandhi did sit down and have coffee with them. By coincidence,just a few minutes later,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh happened to pass by,and was offered a cup of coffee by the group. He sat down but opted for green tea instead.

Parting Shot

Prasanna Kumar Patasani,the saffron-clad Biju Janata Dal member of the Lok Sabha from Bhubaneswar,was surprisingly found sitting in the company of Sonia Gandhi for quite a while. Patasani informed her that he came from a family of freedom fighters and traditional Congressmen. This gave rise to an obvious question from her: “Why did you leave the Congress then?”. “J B Patnaik,” came the prompt reply.

Lying Low

As the Trinamool Congress staged a protest inside the Parliament House complex on Monday against the heckling of its leader Mamata Banerjee and Amit Mitra in Delhi recently,one of the party MPs who steered clear of the limelight was Kunal Ghosh. The editor-turned Rajya Sabha MP has been finding his name being mired in the chit fund controversy in West Bengal. The publication he was associated with was allegedly part of a chit fund company that recently collapsed. While his party colleagues shouted anti-government slogans,Ghosh decided it was better to avoid media glare.

Doctor on Call

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has started relying on the same medical establishment as the first family of the Congress party. Sonia Gandhi and her family’s trust in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital is no secret. Recently,Dikshit insisted in getting her sinus operation done by Dr Devinder Rai of the same hospital. So much so,that Dr Rai had to travel to Fortis Hospital for carrying out the surgery. Dikshit had earlier got an angioplasty done under Dr Ashok Seth of Escorts,which is part of the same group as Fortis. The presence of Dr Seth was deemed necessary during the sinus surgery as well,and since he could not go to a hospital outside his own,Dr Rai of Sir Ganga Ram was called to perform at Fortis.

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