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Capital Buzz/Virendra Kapoor

Dark Karachi secrets

"Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral -- bless his little beard! -- is a mega fraud."

Hey! Says who? And why?

"Says a character named Pran Nath Lekhi."

Ooops, the lawyer-activist who was the Supreme Court Bar Association president? The one who was a freedom fighter?

"Yeah, the same one. He says Gujral (contrary to his claims) was no freedom fighter. During those times he was a petty businessman in Karachi -- that's all!"

My, my! Fie, fie!

"Gujral -- according to Lekhi -- couldn't have done much freedom struggling in any case, as he was a card-holding Communist... and Communists, as you know, were busy decrying the struggle as an imperialist conspiracy."

Yeah, yeah, that's true! How bad of Gujral! And to think we thought he was a genuine fighter!

"There is more. Lekhi has implied there was something powerfully fishy about Gujral's vocation in Karachi those days. 'Will Gujral inform the country what the nature of his business was in Karachi' he asks!"

Curiouser and curiouser! What says Gujral to all this?

"Nothing, not a word -- if P V Narasimha Rao was a master of inactivity, Gujral has a doctorate in non-response! But whichever way you look at it, you get the feel that Gujral's past callings are not those that will sit well on his pathetic shoulders..."

Yeah, how true!

Unjust, unjust!

Is it just, we ask you, that top lawyers are campaigning against the rise of a poor, nice man?

Is it just, we ask you, that fair, just Justice M M Punchhi, the senior-most Supreme Court judge after Chief Justice of India J S Verma, has to fight a barricade of lawyers to ascend to the CJI's chair next year?

Is it just, we ask you, that veteran civil rights activist V M Tarkunde and lawyer Shanti Bhushan (with a few Madras and Bombay colleagues) have ganged up and are meeting senior politicians to stall Punchhi's appointment?

Give the man a chance, we ask you, to give him a chance to prove himself...

Milky way to power

A whizz, that's what Delhi Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma is. At keeping his seat intact at the minimum cost.

That he boxed out Madan Lal Khurana is ancient hat now. But the how of it had remained a mystery till now... This is how Verma managed the feat.

Every morning, he sent his official car out with jugs of milk. To his Bharatiya Janata Party bosses!

The milk was supposed to be from the small dairy that Verma maintains in his village. To make doubly sure the saffron gods remained pleased, Verma also used to lend his car for their use.

Now, many of the BJP leaders feel sad they didn't allow the Khurana-Verma controversy to last longer.

"What a pity," lamented a leader, "Verma would have made arrangements for our lunch and dinner as well!"

Spell it out in full, or else...

R K K R S R Baskaradu -- gosh, what a name!

And to cap it, the department of personnel have been asked to spell the name of the now-not-so-new Maruti managing director in full!

The order comes from Cabinet Secretary Thattapurama Subbair Rama Subramaniam who is keen to add his two bits to 'transparency in government'. Another order for -- what else? -- more 'transparency' is to print a reasonably-priced civil list detailing the designations of all senior government officials.

"And spell all the names out in full," ordered Subramaniam, frightening the hell out of his officials.

The last we saw, department of personnel officers were scrambling around dusty files trying to confirm R K K R S R's -- and the umpteen other Tamil and Telugu officers (apparently, a name for them will not be complete without those of their village, district, family and father preceding it!) -- full name!

Son's stroke

Not long ago, we mentioned here about Gujral junior's powers over Gujral senior. Here is an example of it:

Naresh introduces a well-known industrialist -- let the name be a secret for now -- with interests in entertainment television to papa.

The industrialists pours his heart out to the PM. His woes can be surmised in a single heart-rendering cry: "Don't want cross-media holdings in the broadcasting industry! Waah, don't want!"

Gujral picks up the phone and Broadcasting Minister Jaipal Reddy gets his orders...

Earlier, harried Star TV bosses had managed to get to the PM through the same channel. Gujral was quick to pick up the phone then too. And the department of personnel got their orders -- go easy on Rathikant Basu and gang, will you?

Like we said earlier, knowing Naresh is knowing Gujral!

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