Bollywood blockbuster Singham has certainly impressed the Gujarat chief minister. Narendra Modi has frequently been using the term Singham to mock at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. On the PMs announcement of economic reforms and the vow to go down fighting,Modi had questioned how the PM had become a Singham overnight. Then on Monday,Modi said the Prime Minister must turn into a Singham to stop the financial loot by the Congress party. His frequent use of the word now seems to be rubbing on others as well. M S Bitta,who runs the All India Anti-Terrorist Front,has announced a national event to commend martyrs later this month,and named it Singham.
GIVEN the fact that it was Congress ministers,rather than those belonging to allies,who had expressed maximum reservations against the Land Acquisition Bill at a Cabinet meeting,Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh used an interesting way to deter further questions on the proposed legislation at the Group of Ministers meeting on Tuesday. He brought along an officer,not belonging to any of the concerned ministries,to answer queries from the ministers. The officer happened to be the joint secretary in the National Advisory Council that is headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi. While this might have weighed on some of the Congress ministers,deputy chairperson of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia was apparently not deterred. He is learnt to have asked why land acquisition in tribal areas should be tougher since industrialisation in these areas was necessary for the development of these regions.
ONE person whose absence was easily noticed at the raising day celebrations of the National Security Guard was K Unnikrishnan,father of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan who was killed in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. The families of all the other martyrs were present but Unnikrishnan was not there apparently because of some confusion in sending and receiving the invite.
LAW minister Salman Khurshid has taken up reading books on law,especially on defamation,once again. Not surprisingly,considering that he has filed multiple defamation suits against a media organisation for making allegations of financial impropriety against a trust that he runs. One of the books that the minister,a prominent lawyer himself,is reading is The Law of Defamation and Malicious Prosecution by V Mitter.
WHEN Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had objected to his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi coming to campaign in Bihar,the states BJP leaders had come up with rather muted responses. Now,that seems to have cost them an opportunity to campaign in the upcoming assembly elections in Gujarat. In the list of the star campaigners that the BJP has given to the Election Commission,the prominent faces from Bihar are conspicuous by their absence. There is no Sushil Kumar Modi,Ravi Shankar Prasad,Rajiv Pratap Rudy or Shahnawaz Hussain. Not even Shatrughan Sinha who is a big crowd-puller. A lesser known Muslim leader,Sufi Sant Mahebub Ali Baba,does figure in the list,but a more prominent minority face,Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi,is missing. Interestingly,Narendra Modi himself is listed at number 22 in the list of 39,way below Smriti Irani,Navjot Singh Siddhu and Hema Malini. It would be interesting to see whether Siddhu would be free from a television programme he is participating in,in time to campaign in Gujarat.