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Rediff.com  » News » Gupshup from the Dilli Durbar

Gupshup from the Dilli Durbar

Last updated on: February 6, 2012 19:30 IST

'Mera phone number kya hai, bhai?'

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Old style politicians who can't remember their own phone numbers, flounder without aides during campaign time...

A grand wedding -- no, not Ritesh and Genelia's -- but one that packed a big star show in politics...

A television bahu takes up the case of her fading popularity...

The Indian Railways in uniform -- ala Air India, eh?

Gupshup from the Dilli Durbar, folks!

Poll fever has it drawbacks. Many Union ministers, particularly those hailing from Uttar Pradesh, reportedly do not know how to use hi-tech, state-of-the-art, mobile phones.

It is customary for their private secretaries and other aides to dial numbers, receive calls and then put them on to the minister. But due to the Election Commission's strict code of conduct, private secretaries are not allowed to travel with the ministers during political rallies, campaigns etc.

One minister who seems to be missing his aides most is Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, who apparently does not even remember his residential telephone number.

These technologically challenged politicians are regretting their old-style ways. It's high time they catch up, lest they get left behind!

Please click Next to know more about the goings-on in the Dilli Darbar!


Image: Next: A crash course for Mantris on how to use cell phones
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

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The good doctor has no cure

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The Supreme Court's 2G verdict has demoralised the UPA.

A Union minister who called on the prime minister soon after the verdict was delivered found Dr Manmohan Singh lost in thought.

The economist-turned-politician reportedly feels the 2G issue will cost the Congress dearly in the urban centres of Uttar Pradesh where seven rounds of polling will be held over a month-long period.

The minister sought to encourage the PM by pointing out that fortunately for them the assembly elections in Punjab and Uttrakhand were over and had it not been so it could have resulted in greater losses.

Obviously, his words failed to cheer the good doctor who seems to have no cures for the many ailments afflicting his government.

Please click Next to know more about the goings-on in the Dilli Darbar!


Image: A Congress supporter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after an election rally in Punjab
Photographs: Ajay Verma/Reuters

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New look for the Indian Railways?

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Union Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi is a man with many innovative ideas.

Trivedi wants to introduce a dress code in his ministry, including the high and mighty, ranging from the railway board chief down to gangmen, porters etc.

If Trivedi has his way, even the ministers looking after the Indian Railways will sport a uniform.

Of course, not everyone at Rail Bhavan is enthusiastic about the minister's proposal, especially as the dress code issue is likely to figure in Trivedi's Railway Budget speech in Parliament next month.

Look out for the new uniformed brigade. Will it be Indian style or Indo-Western?

Please click Next to know more about the goings-on in the Dilli Darbar!


Image: Kashmir's first-ever train about to depart Srinagar station
Photographs: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters

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Tulsi Virani, who?

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Actress and BJP politician Smriti Irani was in for a surprise when she arrived in Manipur to campaign for her party.

Hardly anyone in Imphal seemed aware of 'Tulsi' Irani, who, we hear, fancies herself as only second to Hema Malini as a star attraction for the BJP.

Hindi television's once best-known bahu tried to find out why few in the northeastern state had heard of her.

She discovered that some extremist organisations had banned television channels screening Hindi soap operas.

Irani has now decided to take up the matter with the Union home and information and broadcasting ministries. Messrs P Chidambaram and Ambika Soni, please await a call from Tulsi Virani.

Please click Next to know more about the goings-on in the Dilli Darbar!


Image: Posters of television actress Smriti Irani, once the heroine of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahi Thi, in a Kabul, Afghanistan, market
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters

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Band, Baaja, Baraat at election time

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Lalu Prasad Yadav's daughter Ragini married Rahul Yadav at a time when the groom's father Jitendra Yadav is in the fray from Sikandarabad, Uttar Pradesh, as a Congress nominee.

Jitendra was formerly with the Samajwadi Party.

While Ragini has a B-Tech degree, Rahul has returned from Switzerland after completing an MBA in hotel management.

The wedding reception at a farmhouse on the Gurgaon-Mehrauli road in New Delhi saw virtually everyone ranging from President Pratibha Patil, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, BJP President Nitin Gadkari, former BJP president Rajnath Singh, Samajwadi chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to dozens of politicians from Bihar.

Congratulations! Laluji. Hope your political fortunes see some celebrations soon!

Please click Next to know more about the goings-on in the Dilli Darbar!


Image: Lalu Prasad Yadav milks a cow at his New Delhi home
Photographs: Reuters

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An office for Mr Deshmukh and Mr Kumar

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New Delhi's Lodhi Road has a new building -- Prithvi Bhavan. The state-of-the-art building will house the Union ministry for earth sciences.

Two Congress ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh and Ashwani Kumar plan to occupy the fifth floor of the tastefully done building. Mrs Kumar is busy supervising the decor.

The ministry of science and technology's office is outside Lutyens' Delhi at Mehrauli Road, causing problems for the ministers to move from one government building to another.

Earlier, ministers who held charge of the science and technology and earth sciences portfolios had a room at Anusandhan Bhavan on the capital's Rafi Marg, but the ministers were never comfortable sitting away from their babus.

Hope Prithvi Bhavan is a suitable home for them.


Image: Union Minister of State for Planning, Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Ashwani Kumar
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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