Virendra Kapoor

So, we have another author amongst us. Chap called Ram Jethmalani.

The former law minister's frustrations have all spilled out in book-form now.

"His main target," informs our informant, "is Chief Justice of India Dr A S Anand!"

"Yep," claimed the little birdie, "He tries to make out that he lost his ministership [he got sacked as the law minister, remember?] because of Justice Anand."

Nothing could be farther from the truth. The fact is that Jethmalani had become a liability for Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee long before he ejected him.

If truth be told, Vajpayee had been incredibly patient with Jethmalani. Not for himself, but because Home Minister L K Advani always felt obliged to plead the lawyer's continuance.

There is no knowing whether Advani supported Jethmalani because the latter had successfully defended him in the hawala case -- or was it simply a case of one Sindhi coming to the rescue of another?

If Jethmalani were to be believed, he had "earned" his place in the government thanks to the hawala offerings, an assertion made on a popular television programme soon after his induction.

Now cut to the present: The government has completely failed to counter Jethmalani's latest campaign of calumny. The ex-law minister is at pains to present himself as a victim, even when a well-documented Central Bureau of Investigation report paints him a villain.

For reasons best known to it, the government refuses to make that report public even though it clearly castigates Jethmalani in all the three cases referred to it for investigation.

Now that Jethmalani has turned his considerable lung power against the government, one hopes Vajpayee will do the sensible thing and place the report in the House.

A bee for the CJI

Makes us wonder, it does, if somebody has a mammoth bee in his bonnet for CJI Anand.

Look at it like this: First, it is Jethmalani breathing fire, flames and sundry such things about the CJI. Then it is a couple of Supreme Court advocates.

Seems the advocates tried their best to get the CJI to quit. They roped in a high-profile television channel to 'expose' the controversial land case that involved Justice Anand's wife.

The channel got wise when it discovered that one of the lawyers had spoken about the case in two different voices. And it spiked the programme at the last moment.

Apparently, the lawyer and another respected member of the SC Bar were given the relevant papers of the land case by Justice Anand himself, so that they could satisfy themselves that nothing underhand had taken place. The lawyers, for their part, wrote to Justice Anand absolving him of all charges of wrongdoing.

However, a few weeks later, they tried to inspire the television programme.

Wanted: A BJP spokesman

BJP chief Bangaru Laxman cannot make up his mind about whom to appoint party spokesman.

M Venkaiah Naidu had fulfilled the role competently till his recent induction to the Vajpayee government. Among the others, party vice-president Jana Krishnamurthy and veteran leader Jagdish Prasad Mathur are eyeing the job.

For his part, Krishnamurthy has not only arrogated to himself the role, but has suggested that he be appointed chairman of a panel of spokesmen, each with his own specialised area of interest.

Thus, Krishnamurthy says, he would hold forth on political matters on Mondays and Fridays while someone else should speak on economic affairs on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and so on...

Patient PM

Prime minister he certainly is -- but to Dr Chitranjan Ranawat Vajapyee was yet another patient.

Seeing an endless stream of visitors on the third day after the PM's surgery, the doctor blew his top and told everyone who mattered, including Brajesh Mishra and Vajpayee's foster son-in-law Ranjan Bhattcharya, that he would allow no more visitors.

The message got home pretty fast: Vajpayee recuperated in peace for the next couple of days.

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