Capital Buzz/Virendra Kapoor
Too old, too old
Young, he's got to be,
and cramped full of beans. Who would want an
old-oldie with arthritis, asthma and a 1947-vision for
party president? Yuck!
That's Bharatiya Janata Party veteran Atal Bihari
Vajpayee's strong sentiment. About general secretary Kushabhau
Thakre succeeding outgoing
president Lal Kishinchand Advani.
Vajpayee isn't very sure whether Thakre -- who, incidentally, is one of the BJP's
many general secretaries -- has arthritis and
asthma, but he is very, very sure about the
"The next president should be young and
dynamic," Vajpayee mutters whenever
the subject is brought up, "Not old, not old."
Unfortunately, other senior leaders
don't see it
that way. What, they ask, is 70somethingness and lack-of-dynamism between
friends? But Vajpayee isn't convinced.
"Shouldn't be old, not old," he mutters again, "Now,
if it was someone like Pramod Mahajan..."
"Mahajan?" other leaders,
including RSS bosses, cry, "No way! Too young,
too young! Thakre is just ideal. It's fixed, he will take
over in November at the
Hmm, November is almost here, but Vajpayee had the plenary
session postponed to next year. Official reason: the
expected fall of Inder Kumar Gujral and
company. And the real one? That small matter of age, what else?
"Too old, too old," Vajpayee shakes
his head, "Now if it was someone like Mahajan..."
Hide and seek
Folks, another Vajpayee tale before
we move on, okay?
The veteran is in an unforgiving mood against
general secretary K N Govindacharya for having
described him as the party's mukhota (mask) rather
than mukh (head).
A 'purported' transcript of
Govindacharya's conversation with two middle-level British diplomats
was published in a couple of Hindi newspapers.
The general secretary, as is usual
in such cases,
denied the statement.
Never even dreamt of thinking of saying such
things, he conveyed to the mukh.
But no, Vajpayee wasn't convinced.
And though Govindacharya went on
making placatory noises at public
meetings, the senior leader
refused to believe him. He clenched his
teeth, flexed his fibres and prepared to
take the general secretary
apart the moment he set eyes on him.
Govindacharya, luckily for him,
had sensitive ears -- he heard the noises, read
them right and took evasive action.
Thus, last Sunday, when the BJP office-bearers met at the party
headquarters, the general secretary rushed out of town for urgent work.
Tuesday, he made it a point to leave the podium minutes
before Vajpayee showed up to address the two-day national
convention of the Bharatiya Janata yuva morcha!
Wonder how long Govindacharya would keep up this
game of hide and seek.
Paswan's pass at Joginder
Union Railway Minister Ram
Vilas Paswan is a great one for making
Sorry, but don't read us wrong, folks. What we
mean aren't those kind of passes, but the railway variety... the ones used
to travel with, you know?
Well, Paswan has now gone and
made out a golden pass for former CBI director
Tiger Joginder Singh and wife. For no apparent reason
but that he felt particularly generous at that particular
As a former Railway
Protection Force director general, Mr and Mrs Tiger already had
an ordinary pass, valid for four trips annually. But now, with Paswan's
golden gesture, the couple can check out the Indian railways
Symbols of corruption
Some two years ago, the
Delhi municipal authorities, not unusually
for them, were dragged to a city court. The suit was about
illegally erected hoardings.
The court said, yes, there definitely was a case
against them. It went ahead with
the trial. And in the process, stayed the
pulling down of old hoardings and, also, barred the
new ones till the case was decided.
Two years later, you find the case
lingering on... and twice as
many hoardings as before all over the city!
The 'how' behind it is very simple.
Municipal officials, for a moderate price, quietly added
new hoardings to the list of old ones impugned by the stay order.
Curiously, the 50th Independence anniversary hype brought with it
yet another opportunity for unscrupulous advertisers -- most of the
hoardings that came up commemorating heroes like
Chandra Bose now advertise
Help! Rape! Assault! Murder!
Four complaints against
four persons in four months -- surely this lady we are
talking about here is
having a difficult time?
Yep, she is -- but not the way you
Fact is, our heroine (she is a journalist, by the way) has got a sort of disease,
unheard of: police mania. Cross her way one way or the other and
she runs to the nearest police station.
"Help! Rape! Assault! Murder!" she screams, "I have just been murdered!"
"Murdered, ma'am," the officer-in-charge, naturally,
is astounded, "Where? When? By whom?"
"Yeah, murdered! And assaulted and raped! By ---," she replies, "At his house. He
but I escaped! Please take down my complaint!"
The first person
who got into our scribe's bad book was a scion of
a leading newspaper baron's family: she charged him with molestation.
The latest of her preys is a senior BJP leader. The charge is assault.
Only, the police, instead of taking down
her complaint, asked her to take a walk. And keep walking. So now, the journalist, armed with a doctor's certificate, is haunting a lawyer
to move court.
The BJP leader's mistake, it would appear, was that he refused her entry
into his house where, for almost two years, she was a constant
fixture. His friends insist he had given the
`journalist' the benefit of doubt, despite several complaints
about her misconduct. But when she filed a molestation suit
against the newspaper baron-to-be, he decided enough was enough.
His refusal to
see her, however, had led to a hot exchange of words. And, true to
her reputation, the lady ran to the police screaming blue assault!