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|November 25, 2002|
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati believes in knockout punches.
Which is why she recently threatened to lock up a Samajwadi Party MP under the National Security Act if he persisted with attempts to lure away Bahujan Samaj Party-Bharatiya Janata Party legislators.
Knowing her well, the MP did the best thing under the circumstance -- quit lobbying and returned to the national capital.
As sources pointed out, Mayawati could, and certainly would, have imprisoned him for at least two months before the advisory board, mandatory under the NSA, met and discussed the rights and wrongs of the detention.
Even as they prepare to tango in Uttar Pradesh, and later at the Centre, bitter recrimination has erupted between the Congress and Samajwadi Party.
The Congress did not vote for the Opposition candidate in the UP legislature by-election, thus making victory possible for the BSP-BJP representative, so we hear some SP leaders are giving the Congress and its president Sonia Gandhi a mouthful.
If 'pseudo-secular' is what they call Sonia in public, their tags for her in private can put to shame Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Pravin Togadia and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
So much for the rulers-in-making.
On Jaswant's case
Finance Minister Jaswant Singh better watch out. There is a concerted move to embarrass him for no other reason than that he refuses to play ball with a certain industrial group.
In the past, the group dug up some alleged violation of the moral code -- mind you, moral, not legal -- to show up one of the more suave and better spoken BJP leaders in poor light. That didn't succeed.
Now, we learn the group is trying to focus on the daily expenses incurred on maintaining Singh's Saudi Arabian horse.
In his earlier avatar as foreign minister, Singh was gifted the handsome thoroughbred by his Saudi Arabian counterpart. The government, as per practice, put a price tag on the gift, and Singh paid tax accordingly.
The business house's case is the horse's maintenance is so high that Singh can't possibly meet it -- unless he is corrupt, that is.
There is something about the so-called Page Three people that leaves the old-fashioned cold with moral rage.
Profuse in their praise when they meet, these movers and shakers shred each other once backs are turned.
Thus, after a recent high-profile bash in the capital, one guest was heard mumbling:
"I have never before seen a bigger gathering of racketeers and fixers under one roof!"
But what, pray, was he doing there?
Illustrations: Uttam Ghosh
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