Opinion

BL Diary - JPC jam session

OUR BUREAUS | Updated on November 12, 2017 Published on August 01, 2011

BL01DIARY-JPC

BL01DIARY-NARESH

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To prevent leaks to the media, mobile jammers have been installed outside the room where the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) meeting takes place. The move came after it was discovered that issues being discussed during the closed-door JPC meetings, which is investigating the 2G spectrum scam, were being flashed by some TV news channels while the JPC was in session.

Apparently, one of its members was sending SMS messages to some TV reporters. While the jammers seem to have done the trick, the movement of journalists has also been restricted. They are not allowed to interact with JPC members during the tea breaks.

Wishful thinking?

Reshuffle of ministers is becoming a routine exercise, but it means a lot to the babus. While some heave a sigh of relief over the exit of a minister, others end up even imagining that those who have been moved out of a particular ministry are actually dead and gone. In one such example of wishful thinking, a senior official, while making a presentation at a recent event, referred to his former minister as ‘late'. Though it seemed a slip of tongue, the comment evoked a sharp reaction from the audience, forcing the official to apologise profusely.

Maharaja's woes

Recently, a colleague called the former Indian Ambassador to the US, Naresh Chandra, to elicit comments on the visit of the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton to India. Incidentally, Chandra is chairman of the Government committee to draw out a roadmap for Indian aviation, including Air India. No sooner had our colleague introduced himself and told Chandra why he had called, than the former Ambassador switched tracks and said, “ Arre beta (my young friend) tell me what you are doing for Air India. Everything else can wait. You need to do something to save the airline.”

In the line of fire

A stock may have delivered well in terms of returns on its price, but for a conservative shareholder, it is still the stock's dividend that counts. At the TTK Healthcare AGM recently, an elderly gentleman hurried to the stage as the chairman concluded his speech. In a frustrated tone, he said that the dividend announced was a pittance (never mind that the dividend was Rs 4 per share on face value of Rs 10, with a stock appreciation of 40 per cent in the last one year!). He went on to complain that the Rs 6 lakh salary, fixed by the board for the auditors of the company, was very high. The company's auditors, who were also present at the AGM, looked away or at their feet, the emotions on their faces not easy to capture in words. The gentleman's last question was the ultimate — he asked about the extra ‘h' in the name of one of the directors and asked if it was because of numerology! It sure is a tough job to be a director on a company's board these days!

Sizing up MPs

If you thought Zero Hour in Parliament was all about members raising matters of great importance without prior notice, you are mistaken. In Delhi's Constitution Club, Zero Hour is an entirely different ball game. The hi-tech gym for MPs, a stone's throw from the seat of power, has state-of-the-art equipment, personal trainers and a juice bar. Hopefully, now, our esteemed MPs will expend their energies more fruitfully. Lifting weights rather than throwing chairs and mikes, and using the treadmill rather than running to the well of the House to keep themselves fit, as well the country, said a cynic.

Hidden talent

Former cop and social activist, Kiran Bedi, is not just an anti-corruption crusader but a good mimic as well. While launching a tirade against the Union Cabinet for passing a ‘truncated' Lokpal Bill at a press conference last week, Kiran Bedi provided comic relief by suddenly changing her vociferous tone into a meek and monotonous murmur, mimicking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Sure enough, the hall broke into laughter.

Fear factor

Perceptions can make people react in a funny fashion. Recently, a colleague was waiting outside the Pakistan Embassy. As he waited for the Embassy doors to open, there was suddenly a series of loud blasts followed by loud noises that sounded like gunfire. Our colleague ducked and ran behind a brick wall. It was only later that an Embassy official told this visibly-shaken colleague that the loud blasts were just some empty shells being test-fired and not a terrorist strike.

HRK versus SRK!

Pakistan's latest “weapon of mass destruction”, as one journalist termed the 34 year-old Foreign Minister, Ms Hina Rabbani Khar, literally clean bowled India with her immaculate Roberto Cavalli-styled line and length. Even as HRK pleaded for resumption of cricketing ties, the twitterati was worried whether her youthful charms could coax more out of India. Maybe, rather than SMK (S. M .Krishna) we should unleash our own SRK (Shah Rukh Khan) to counter HRK, somebody suggested.

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Published on August 01, 2011
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