Enter Nita, exit Praful
Is there a slow, yet steady, demand raising its ugly head within the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to replace its veteran president and former union minister, Praful Patel? The answer is yes. If that is not shocking, what is rattling many is that those demanding his ouster are also demanding the NCP leader be replaced by Nita Ambani. Ever since Mrs Ambani pushed some big bucks investment into soccer, the demand is increasing in almost all quarters of AIFF. Who is leading the charge? The unlikeliest of all, Prasun Banerjee, Trinamool Lok Sabha MP and former Indian skipper, who feels if Ambani comes to soccer, India will do well, both at home and abroad. Else, Banerjee has said at various forums, Indian soccer is doomed. Minus ISL, of course.
Widows trump toilets
When Narendra Modi took oath as prime minister, Magsasay winner Dr Bindeswar Pathak was considered the ideal person to carry out the PM’s agenda of “toilet for every home” in India. But of late, the sanitation guru has shifted focus to widows. He has encouraged a coffee table book on himself and widows, explaining how it’s important for the nation to improve the plight of those, mostly based in Vrindavan and Varanasi. On some occasions, Pathak has also talked about the need for hygienic water for all. Those tracking the social scientist in India are a little bemused. What prompted Pathak to change track?
CBI officials are unanimous that Chhota Rajan, tired after an exhausting flight from Indonesia, is in deep sleep but that has not prevented the gossip mills from working overtime. What is the latest? That Rajan, immediately on landing, handed over to the CBI a list of top Mumbai Police officers, who are not just sympathetic to Dawood Ibrahim, but on the don’s payrolls.
Now what Mamata?
Bengal’s penchant for honouring veterans is legendary. After Pele left the city, now efforts are on to bring in Sir Alex Ferguson, former manager of Man U.
He has not said yes but has agreed to look into the felicitation proposal. He also said he was aware of Indians’ love for cricket but wanted to know where soccer stands in the billion plus nation. That reply, unfortunately, has not been scripted by the Trinamool. Hopefully, the party will shoot off a letter, once the din dies in Bihar.