The Election Commission is on high alert on usage of illegal cash or means every time polls take place in states, or for that matter, across India. But it seems, every time, political parties find new ways to circumvent the rules. The latest is: If you cannot plant paid news reports, why not start a newspaper and fill it with your news ? TMC Rajya Sabha MP KD Singh, who has interests ranging from coal to livestock to tea, is contemplating reviving Financial World, a newspaper that was once headed by Tarun Tejpal, but closed before starting. Recruitments have started in the right earnest. Why not? Bengal elections are around the corner, and an English newspaper can always help, right?
What do the oil firms do?
The Nepal blockade has messed lives for many in the land-locked country but there are many in India who are feeling the pinch. High on the list is the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), whose tankers are lined up across the Birgunj border. Top IOC officials, worried at the snail-paced traffic, have asked Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to intervene. But Pradhan knows he cannot help the troubled oil companies; the matter — for all practical purposes — rests with the all-powerful PMO, overseen by none other than PM Narendra Modi.
No room for Ghulam Ali
Has it become routine for Ghulam Ali to get into a mess every time he comes to India? It appears so. After the Mumbai fiasco, the legendary Pakistani singer was headed to Kolkata for a show organised by the 200 year-old Hindu School. When he was troubled in Mumbai, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee had proudly said her state was the best secular land in India and Ali would have no problem performing in Bengal. But much to her dismay, Banerjee was told Saurav Ganguly, her own protege and president of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), has rejected offering the Eden Gardens for the show, arguing cricket is more important than music. Ali has finally space in the Netaji Indoor Stadium next door, but not before Mamata had her share of embarrassment.
The ISIS is finished, claims the Indian twitterati. Why? The answer is simple. It has hired a Bengali, Siddhartha Dhar. Now there will be factionalism, regional parties, a Kali Bari and eventually, Durga Puja. What is interesting is that the bulk of the tweets are coming from Bengali editors.