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Capital Buzz/Virendra Kapoor

More of Gujral

Last week we told you some Gujralian tales -- nothing earthshaking, but about Inder Kumar Gujral's penchant for keeping his word and ultra-sensitiveness about his prime ministerial kursi.

Now we got another to tell.

Quite recently, Gujral had put Chand Mahal Ibrahim on notice that his days as civil aviation minister were numbered. He was unhappy about the civil aviation policy, the good Gujral announced in Nepal (of all the places!); terribly, terribly unhappy. (Did the announcement have anything to do with the pressure on him to pass the Tata-Singpore deal which Ibrahim had vetoed?) And he was going to do Something about it.

Like booting Ibrahim out and seating someone else.

But portfolio re-allocation has come and gone, yet Ibrahim still remains un-booted. How come? Did the matter slip Gujral's mind? No, that can't be -- doesn't the PM take memory plus? Then?

Well, you see, there is a former prime minister called H D Deve Gowda who, when he heard the news, threatened to do nasty things to Gujral. How dare he (Gujral) even think of touching his protege? Grrr...

So, the brave fellow he is, Gujral backed off. Can't have internal bickerings, can he? Worse, don't want his chair taken away, does he?

A cool job, this vice-presidency!

Vice-presidency, Maharastra Governor P C Alexander has decided, is a comfortable proposition. Any day, it is better than a governorship -- more flamboyant, lots of comfort and absolutely nothing to do!

So the gent has decided to have a go at it. Whatmore, his chances look quite good, especially as he has found a firm supporter in Sonia Gandhi.

Alexander was in the capital this week and paid a hush-hush visit to 10, Janpath at Madam's instance. Apparently, he is playing chartered accountant to the lady, helping her sort out the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation's mess of accounts. (The RGF had failed to submit its audited accounts to the authorities.)

During his visit, Alexander is said to have advised Sonia to accept the Congress Working Committee membership -- besides dwelling on the innumerable advantages of having a close friend for vice-president.

Fixer in a fix

The game is becoming a bit hard, but the lady refuses to quit.

In question is Gopika Nina Pillai, biscuit tycoon Rajan Pillai's widow, who is determined to see her husband's 'murders' in jail. A great many petitions, she has filed, but none seems to have got her far. The latest in the series is a prayer to a Delhi court for a full-fledged inquiry into the affairs of several biggies in the capital. And among them figures a fixer-editor, who is alleged to have conspired with Pillai's business-partner-turned-foe.

The controversial journalist is said to have undertaken several trips to Singapore to ferret out muck on Pillai. Further, he met several top Singaporean officials in his capacity as a visiting journalist and motivated them to proceed against the tycoon who was then based in the island state.

The said editor's identity is a public secret among the Fourth Estate.

These are Indians, all right!

Janata Dal working president Sharad Yadav is so happy he could kiss Gujral.

Yadav, who, the other day, expressed his reservations against women sporting `bobbed hair' rather strongly, was hoping against hope that none of Gujral's new ministers would have short hair.

Gujral appears to have heeded the wish -- none in the new batch has the 'un-Indian' hair style. "Yeh chaar mahila mantri ka baal to kata nahin hain!(These four ministers' haven't had their hair cut!)," a relieved Yadav commented.

Maybe, Yadav will now revise his views on the Women's Reservation Bill.

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