Glasshouse of the week

first_imgAfter the rant, the apologiesThe war of words between HRD minister Smriti Irani and BSP chief Mayawati assumed epic proportions. During the February 24 JNU debate in the RS, Irani told Mayawati she would cut her head off and place it at the latter’s feet if her answers weren’t satisfactory.,After the rant, the apologiesThe war of words between HRD minister Smriti Irani and BSP chief Mayawati assumed epic proportions. During the February 24 JNU debate in the RS, Irani told Mayawati she would cut her head off and place it at the latter’s feet if her answers weren’t satisfactory. Mayawati replied two days later that she was not satisfied, so what now of Irani’s promise. Both players later insisted they got an apology. Mayawati, in a rare appearance before the media, said the minister had apologised to her. Irani’s version has it that Mayawati held her hand in the lobby of Parliament a day after the debate, saying, “Child, if I had known the facts you put out earlier, I would not have raised the issue.” It’s a tie.Contact spotTelangana CM K. Chandrasekhara Rao is to increase the access of MLAs to voters by building offices for them in all 119 assembly constituencies in a year. The roads and buildings department has been assigned the task. Agencies which handle the work are to get an incentive of 1.5 per cent of the value if they complete it on time.All is forgiven?Former finance minister P. Chidambaram did the unthinkable at the launch of his new book, Standing Guard, on February 26. He got Sanjaya Baru, former press advisor to PM Manmohan Singh, to moderate a panel discussion. Baru had become persona non grata after his book, The Accidental PM, had claimed that the PMO was remote-controlled by Sonia Gandhi and that she was behind his ouster from the post. Chidambaram also got both Manmohan and Congress V-P Rahul Gandhi to attend the book launch function despite Baru’s presence. The trio was later seen exchanging pleasantries.A cool, cool sloganadvertisementThe possibility of a Congress-Left alliance in the 2016 assembly polls is giving West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee the jitters. That the EC has taken cognisance of allegations of lawlessness against her TMC hasn’t helped either. The CM with the mercurial temper has now asked partymen not to get provoked. She’s even coined a slogan to that effect-thanda, thanda cool-cool/abar ashbe Trinamool (Keep your cool, Trinamool is coming back). Party workers can’t help but wonder whether it’s a brand of hair oil with the same tagline that’s helping her keep her cool.The vote is noPM Modi has had to scrap the make-voting-mandatory-in-local-body-polls bill he recommended as Gujarat CM in 2010. Shot down then, it was passed in 2014 by CM Anandiben Patel. In 2015, the Gujarat HC stayed it after a PIL and now law minister Sadanand Gowda says it’s not on.Till death do us apartBoth houses of Parliament condoled the deaths of former Nepal PM Sushil Koirala, former Lok Sabha Speaker Balram Jakhar and former J&K CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. The Rajya Sabha also added doyenne of Indian classical dance Mrinalini Sarabhai, who passed away on January 22 this year, to the list. But the danseuse found no mention in the Lok Sabha. Was it because her daughter Mallika Sarabhai is a fierce critic of Prime Minister Modi, a point the junior Sarabhai tweeted?Free for allAll from the heartA sentimental West Bengal assembly speaker Biman Mukherjee signed off in the last session of the House by saying he would love to see all the faces of the present MLAs in the new assembly as well. The Opposition seems to have liked the idea too, for they thumped their desks in assent. The speaker’s wishes appear to be out of sync with CM Mamata Banerjee’s goal of getting more than the 185 seats she got in 2011, though. Mukherjee confided to a close circle that he was speaking from his heart and not his head.A warship turned hotelAndhra Pradesh CM N. Chandrababu Naidu has a penchant for picking up projects that bring global attention. He’s now bent on converting the warship, INS Viraat, into a museum-cum- hotel when it is decommissioned by the Navy later this year. It’ll be moored off the port city of Visakhapatnam (which already boasts of a submarine museum). CRISIL estimates a Rs 700 crore budget which the cash-strapped state hopes to raise partially from the navy and other private partners. Decommissioning alone will costs Rs 400 crore while refurbishing it as a museum-cum-hotel will be an additional Rs 300 crore. Goa and Gujarat lost the race to AP in earning the distinction to become the third, after America and China, to boast of carrier museums.You can take the chairChief Minister Oommen Chandy’s ministers are trying their best to include out-of-agenda items in cabinet meetings just before Kerala heads for the polls. The last cabinet meeting took up 600 items, mostly confirming? casual employees in government service.? Around 57,000 casual staff work in various departments (most of them are relatives of politicians). But the babus are fighting back. The cabinet shunted out principal secretary, local self-government, James Varghese, who had opposed the illegal appointments. Additional chief secretary K.M. Abraham has now issued a GO against the same.advertisementBent rulebookThe BJP will hold its national executive meeting between March 19 and 20 in Delhi, after a year. The party constitution explicitly states that in case no meeting of the regional, district or mandal committee is held at least once in six months, the unit stands dissolved. When BJP president Amit Shah was asked this at a lunch hosted by telecom minister Ravishankar Prasad, his response was curt. “The constitution is for the party, the party is not for the constitution.”Allied benefitThe Assam BJP unit has hijacked CM Tarun Gogoi’s idea of a Maha Bujabuji (grand understanding) for the state polls. It has roped in Bodo, Rabha and Tiwa groups; the AGP is likely to join soon. The man behind the move? Former Gogoi aide and now state BJP convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma. by Santosh Kumar, Amarnath K. Menon, Kaushik Deka, Romita Datta, Ananth Krishnan, Jeemon Jacoblast_img read more