Restricted entry: What doesn't make national headlines, but could, makes it here
Hasan Ali is no bubble
Pune-based horse breeder and alleged hawala racketeer Hasan Ali Khan, who once claimed that he was falsely implicated in money laundering scandals, is in the hot seat.
Pushed by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Ministry of Finance, the Enforcement Directorate has gathered fresh evidence against Ali. It conclusively proves Ali parked his cash in HSBC accounts. Worse, the bank, which once said there was only $6,000 in Ali’s account, has confirmed the Pune-based businessman had much more, thanks to his hawala operations and dealings with Adnan Khoshaggi, the international arms dealer.
With the files moving again in the corridors of power, there are chances that some high profile ministers of the UPA2 regime, who were close to Ali, will face the heat. High on the list is a former civil aviation minister with interests in both soccer and cricket.
Too powerful for RSS
Arun Jaitley’s problems seem to mount by the day. The buzz is high in the Indian capital that Jaitley, the second most powerful man in the NDA cabinet, could be replaced during the next reshuffle. The demand for his removal seems to stem from Keshav Kunj, the Delhi-based headquarters of the RSS that recently held a day-long seminar which concluded by unanimously agreeing power lobbies in the cabinet must end if India needs to advance. In the corridors of RSS, the suave Jaitley is considered the biggest threat to PM Modi.
Political dreams bear fruit
It seems the long wait has ended for Swapan Dasgupta, former journalist and columnist and right-wing supporter, who was hoping for the Indian High Commissioner’s post in London, if not a Rajya Sabha seat, if not something else. Dasgupta’s name has been cleared for the director’s slot of Nehru Museum and Library at Teen Murti after the NDA government kicked out political analyst Mahesh Rangarajan. An official announcement would be made soon.
Didi’s high expectations
Tired of seeking investments from big destinations like UK and the US, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has realised the best way to garner business is to seek deals from next door. She has dropped all global ambitions for her cash-strapped state, seeking investments from neighboring Bhutan and Bangladesh. Nothing wrong in that, except the neighbors have welcomed Didi with open arms, except they said they were expecting Bengal to invest in their countries, not the other way around.