Amarinder tries to be a commoner
Captain Amarinder Singh is putting in a lot of effort to get rid of the image of a maharaja that he has. Thanks to Congress’ election strategist Prashant Kishor, Singh is holding “Coffee with Captain” sessions, mixing with common people and even having food with them at dhabas. The idea is to make him appear a commoner. Apparently, Singh will hold at least 80 “Coffee with Captain” sessions until Punjab goes to the polls in 2017. Singh has also started conducting interviews for 47 marginal seats that Congress needs to win to capture power in the state. But in at least 18 seats the people interviewed said that they would prefer an Aam Aadmi Party ticket and would consider Congress only if they did not get tickets from AAP.
Sri Sri has a Vadra connection
The ruling dispensation in New Delhi is extremely unhappy with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, especially for meeting Robert Vadra in London recently. If sources are to be believed, Sri Sri apparently asked Vadra to ensure that Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka went to his ashram in Bangalore to seek his blessings publicly; after that he would personally ensure that Vadra got a clean chit in everything. When the news got leaked, a senior minister was asked to speak to Sri Sri and tell him not to push his luck as else he would be persona non grata very soon.
Sonia to give alms
Sonia Gandhi may not have hosted an iftaar, but on the advice of Ahmad Patel she is planning to follow the Islamic tradition of zakat. According to this tradition, Muslims must give a portion of their income in the form of alms or money to the needy. Accordingly, the Congress is preparing 1,000 packets of food and clothes to give to the poor.
MP’s conspiracy falls flat
A BJP MP from Jharkhand, who is known to represent the interests of an industrial group, had planned a dinner for different rebel factions from the state at his farmhouse in Delhi. He had help from a Union minister in this. He was hoping to topple Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das, and get someone friendly to his corporate interests installed. The plan fell flat when party president Amit Shah got wind of the matter and warned him that he would be hauled up for the several matters pending against him. Last heard, the MP was licking his wounds, in silence.
Socialite gets the rap
A socialite, who was in the news for his book release in London recently, got into trouble when he boasted to a well-known industrialist of his proximity to a very senior minister. He said that he could facilitate any work that was temporarily stalled. What the man did not know was that the industrialist was visiting the same minister that day itself. The loudmouth got a stern earful from the concerned minister, who said that if he ever heard such low level gossip, he would cease all contacts with him permanently.
Sharad-Nitish’s iftaar was a hit
Sharad Yadav and Nitish Kumar’s iftaar party in Delhi was a great draw. Apart from Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Hamid Ansari, the other guests were Mani Shankar Aiyar, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal and Jaipal Reddy, who was missing from the capital for the last three years. Reddy came from Hyderabad just to attend the iftaar. Then there were the non believers—Comrade D. Raja and CPI general secretary Sudhakar Reddy. But what raised eyebrows was the presence of BJP minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who was made to wear a scull cap, but disappeared within minutes. Perhaps he was worried about the effect this would have on his ministerial prospects ahead of a Cabinet reshuffle.