|CURRENT ISSUE DECEMBER 20, 2004|
REMO FERNANDES pop singer versus MANOHAR PARRIKAR Goa chief minister
"The Government says Goa's pitiful state of health and education is due to lack of funds. But they have Rs 110 crore for a film festival."
"While Goa has hosted the IFFI, my Government continues to have health, education and other basic needs as its priority."
EPILOGUE: The debate over glamour events like film festivals getting priority is unending.
"The media can be both Brahma and Shiva with powers of creation and destruction. It has so far generally played the role of Brahma."
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, President
"The demolition was an act of God. I had no repentance, no sorrow and no grief for that."
Kalyan Singh, BJP vice-president, on the Babri Masjid
"New Delhi is the political capital. Mumbai is the commercial capital. Bangalore is the infotech capital. I am just moving from one capital to the other."
S.M. Krishna, the new Governor of Maharashtra and
"Within six months, the word indiscipline will not be in the party's dictionary."
Pramod Mahajan, BJP general secretary
"I am like a monkey who dances to the tunes of the director, producer and scriptwriter to entertain cinegoers. I want to make people happy, whether it is at marriage parties or stage shows."
Shah Rukh Khan, actor
THE BUZZ OF THE WEEK
The prime minister's focus on economic diplomacy is causing friction in South Block. The suggestion to post more officials from economic-related ministries abroad is being resisted by the ifs lobby.
|The Sting in the Tail|
DELHI Having taken over the Tehelka case two months ago, it was only a question of time before the CBI registered cases against former BJP president Bangaru Laxman and JD(U) leader Jaya Jaitly on charges of accepting bribes. For the ruling coalition, the timing could not have been better: at the start of Parliament's winter session, when the BJP was all set to up the ante on price rise, tainted ministers and the Laloo-Paswan spat.
Jaitly and Laxman figure among the list of 10 accused in the first five firs filed by the CBI to probe corruption in defence deals. The firs have clearly come as an embarrassment for the BJP. The next step, says the CBI, is interrogation of those named in the firs and examining of former defence minister George Fernandes at whose official residence Jaitly is alleged to have been shown receiving money from Tehelka's undercover reporters.
Also, the CBI has not ruled out the possibility of arresting some of the dramatis personae connected with the Tehelka sting. The resurrection of the case that had been on the backburner for a while, is likely to snowball into a major political issue in the coming months.
-By Murali Krishnan
BHOPAL Arun Jaitley was a little taken aback when septuagenarian Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Babulal Gaur touched his feet at the Vijay Utsav. The BJP spokesperson could think of nothing else but touch Gaur's feet in return. The Vijay Utsav, at which nearly 4,000 newly elected BJP corporators from across the state took the oath administered by party President L.K. Advani, turned into a massive charan sparsh (feet-touching) utsav.
There was a beeline to touch Advani's feet. Former chief minister Sunderlal Patwa's feet were the next most sought after, followed by other BJP leaders. Interestingly, this was a practice detested by Uma Bharati, who is now trying to find her feet after her suspension from the party.
-By Neeraj Mishra
WON: The Best Jury Award and Best Audience Award at the Three Continents Film Festival in Nantes, France, by Final Solution, a documentary on Gujarat riots by Rakesh Sharma.
REPEALED: The Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) in the Lok Sabha. This clears the decks for the review of all POTA cases pending in courts or at various stages of investigation within a one-year period.
NAMED: Industrialist Ratan Tata, as head of the three-member Investment Commission, set up by the Finance Ministry to attract $150 billion of FDI.
DIED: Ali Jawad Zaidi, 90, Urdu literatteur, freedom fighter and Padma Shri Award winner.
CONSTITUTED: The Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises, in place of the Disinvestment Commission. Former bureaucrat Prahlad K. Basu heads the board.