The Snake scare
The Defence Minister has been forced to put an end to his morning walks by a reptile,at least temporarily. A K Antony used to walk in the lawns of his official residence until he spotted a snake one morning. Last heard,he has stopped walking in the lawns for the time being.
Wheels within wheels
Sharad Pawars residence was the centre of all political activity on Friday morning as the NCP top brass met to discuss its relationship with its ally,the Congress. An interesting aside to the political drama being played out was a quiet visit of a non-NCP MP at the residence. DMKs Kanimozhi is learnt to have dropped by at the Pawar home. The DMK MP is a close friend of Pawars daughter Supriya Sule,who incidentally,was one of the first to reach out to comfort Kanimozhi when she was released on bail after spending several months in jail for her alleged role in the 2G spectrum scam. With the NCP seemingly in trouble,Kanimozhi was quick to reciprocate the gesture. But her visit also left tongues wagging on whether there were more political overtones to call on.
The Union Culture Ministry may be patting itself on its back for having bought the Gandhi-Kallenbach letters for $1.28 million when the Sarid family had initially quoted a staggering $5 million but it is learnt that the deal could have been clinched at an even lesser amount. Sources say the deal was in fact negotiated directly with the Sarid family for $1 million but the bureaucratic procedures at the Culture Ministry were too much for the family. The red tape at the ministry took a good six months and apparently also stretched past a certain deadline set by the Sarid family. Irked,the Sarids went ahead and approached Sothebys. With the London auction house entering the picture,the ministry had to renegotiate and pay $1.28 million to finally bring back the bunch of communication.
Complaints about the inefficiency of the IRCTC website have been on the increase in the past few weeks,but the Railways is now flaunting a new figure to argue how it has spruced up the website and made it more customer friendly. The number of tickets booked through the website reached 4.95 lakh on Friday,which is an all-time record. The daily average is only about three lakh.
Arriving a little late to join party colleagues at Parliament House while Jaswant Singh filed his nomination papers for the Vice-President election,BJP Rajya Sabha members Prakash Javadekar and Maya Singh looked a little forlorn on Friday. The reason was not very difficult to understand. Both had been hoping to be picked by the party for the deputy leaders post in the Upper House due to the vacancy caused by S S Ahluwalias exit. No marks for guessing who looked upbeat Ravi Shankar Prasad,who had made it.