Will the prime minister's Principal Secretary Brajesh Mishra go?
The odds are heavily against him. Key members of the Sangh Parivar believe Mishra's continuance in the PMO is untenable.
As for Special Officer On Duty N K Singh, he too is on his way out.
A new set of officials should be in place by the end of the current Parliament session.
Just as well.
Hay while the sun shines
George Fernandes's resignation gave his party MP Prabhunath Singh an excellent opportunity to pull an underhand trick.
Singh started with telling the media that the Samata Party wanted Brajesh Mishra and N K Singh out.
Another demand was that Atal Bihari Vajpayee's son-in-law Ranjan Bhattacharya move out of the prime minister's official residence.
Singh, and the dissidents he collected, also tried to pressurise the three Samata ministers who had resigned with Fernandes not to rejoin the government. When he failed there, he issued a statement allegedly signed by six Samata MPs protesting the ministers returning to the ruling fold.
Now it turns out the statement was without the approval of the MPs. Seems Singh is keen to become a minister and had masterminded the campaign so as to force the prime minister into granting him his wish.
On March 20, Fernandes and Railway Minister Nitish Kumar issued Singh a show cause notice for anti-party activities. Whereupon Singh fell quietly in line and once again became an 'obedient' partyman.
Had he not retracted, the Samata leadership was all set to suspend him. But he did, in the nick of time.
Dog on the heels
If only the Securities Exchange Board of India knows where to look and when.
If it did, it will find out whether some brokers were privy to the tehelka.com revealations when they undertook short sales at the Bombay and Calcutta Stock Exchanges in the face of a generally bullish trend.
Sources claim information about the Tehelka scoop might have been exploited to hammer down share prices.
The finance ministry has now directed SEBI to inquire into these rumours. But given the market regulator's track record, no one is likely to be penalised for wrongdoing.
Hello... you have lost!
Cricket, despite investigations into Hansiegate, is still far from clean.
Though there is no evidence of any player or official being involved, betting on the game, complete with hour-to-hour changes in the odds for or against a team, goes on unhindered.
The bookies operate through land and cellular phones. And collect and deliver cash promptly after the result of each India-Australia game.
When the current series began, Australia were a clear favourite, enjoying huge odds. But after the unexpected Indian victories in the Calcutta and Chennai Tests, the odds are now more or less even for the ODI series.
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