Capital Buzz/Virendra Kapoor
Gujral, Gujral go away...
Little Joggy -- to you, Central Bureau of Investigation Director Joginder Singh, dear reader -- was playing 'publicity' at one end of the room when papa Inder Kumar Gujral walked in.
Now 'publicity' was a sort of rare game. You see, Little Joggy had a cute, chubby face which many televisionwallahs wanted on their programmes. They said people liked to look at such nice, chubby faces and Little Joggy believed them. All he had to do was smile and keep smiling and say a sentence or two. Sometimes akbaarwallahs too came; then he had to talk a little more.
That was what 'publicity' was all about.
But papa Gujral (nor the other elders of the family) did not like Little Joggy's game. He had warned him a couple of times about it and here he was again at it!
"Little Joggy, Little Joggy," said Gujral, "What are you doing?"
"P-p-p-playing 'publicity', papa," Little Joggy stammered. Gujral was so angry he walked out of the room immediately.
Next day, there was a big family conference. All his uncles and aunties and other elders got together and discussed the matter. Little Joggy came in for a lot of criticism.
"Little Joggy shouldn't play publicity anymore," said one of his uncles, who was a minister in the United Front government.
"Yes," endorsed another, who was a chief minister.
"We will tell him not to," decided another relative, a bigwig UF member.
The decision was promptly conveyed to Little Joggy who, though terribly sad, agreed to it. "I won't play 'publicity' with reporters anymore," he sobbed. And papa was happy.
But clever he, Little Joggy! He fooled 'em all! Now he isn't playing with reporters, only top editors!
Last fortnight, a top family source claimed, Little Joggy played his usual game with a clutch of New Delhi-based editors at one-to-one luncheons.
Little Joggy, said the relative, has even given the new-found playmates his secret telephone number. "Yippee!" he is said to have said after one of such games, "henceforth I will play only with editors -- no more correspondents for me!"
A series of reports and editorials in a section of the press defending Little Joggy and his activities may be traced to this little game of his.
Something fishy indeed
What with everyone against him and not many to help, Congress president Sitaram Kesri is finding things terribly uncomfortable.
Now, to cap it all off, has resurfaced the half-forgotten insinuations about Kesri's bank account abroad.
The day it became clear Sharad Pawar
might challenge him for the Congress president's post, a Bombay
newspaper carried a report about Kesri's alleged foreign bank account. The report was based on the recent statement made in writing by
one N S Hoon to the Enforcement Directorate in Calcutta.
claimed he helped Kesri open an account in London and cited the name
and address of the bank branch.
Kesri's detractors were quick to make photocopies of the
report and distribute it to all and sundry. Kesri, naturally, denied the allegation, but baulked at a naive well-wisher's suggestion to deny it in writing. Instead, he wanted the newspaper to deny the report
on its own.
"Do it on your own," Kesri implored the correspondent when he contacted him (Kesri).
Union Law Minister Ramakant Khalap is a wronged man. Wronged, because a certain bureaucrat fancied the room the poor minister was occupying!
Now, now... how can a bureaucrat upstage a minister? Somebody is exaggerating!
But, honest, this isn't exaggeration. A bureaucrat did upstage Khalap -- and worse.
The particular bureaucrat is I K Gujral's personal secretary and son Naresh's brother-in-law -- a gentleman named A K Pandey.
adjoining Gujral's office on the first floor of the Parliament House is Pandey's. Next to the PS's room is a waiting room for PM's visitors.
But since most VVIP visitors, including senior Cabinet ministers,
would rather wait in the PS's room,
Pandey felt unhappy.
So he decided to have another room for himself. And what better room was there to have than the cosy one next door (which the law minister had been occupying since former prime minister H D Deve Gowda's time)? Pandey issued orders, which were diligently carried out.
And Khalap found himself outside.
'Don't take my chair away, or else...'
Former Delhi chief minister Madan Lal Khurana could cry. Of all the dirtiest, nastiest, meanest tricks politicians play on each other, this is the worst! And to think it comes from his own partyman!
Khurana believes, and not without reason, that Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma should give him back
his chair. Khurana had given it up when he was named in the hawala scandal. Now the courts have acquitted him, but Verma shows no inclination to budge.
Delhi's Bharatiya Janata Party legislators are solidly behind Khurana and would elect him their leader without second thought in case of a secret ballot. But the leadership is hedging -- they can't annoy Verma. For Verma is a jat, and the BJP leadership cannot jeopardise jat votes.
Verma, meanwhile, is playing his own game -- he is wooing a couple of wheeler-dealers, said to have much influence with the saffron bigwigs, to ensure his message get across clearly: Don't take the chair away from me, or there won't be any jat votes next time!