Venkatesh Kesari

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Incumbency, image may override corruption issue

Will corruption be an issue in the coming Assembly elections in five states? The reports coming to New Delhi are mixed suggesting that local factors, incumbency and image of candidates would matter more in the electoral battle.

Govt, Opp. see hope for Budget Session

The government and the Opposition on Tuesday moved closer on the issue of constitution of a joint parliamentary committee to probe the 2G spectrum scam, sending out a signal that the stalemate on it could break in the Budget Session of Parliament beginning February 21.

Plan to pressure BJP

The Congress-led UPA, with Wednesday’s arrest of former telecom minister A.

Bengal Cong keen on joint campaign

West Bengal Congress leaders are keen on a joint campaign with the Trinamul Congress to ride piggyback on Ms Mamata Banerjee to power, but party leaders from Tamil Nadu are not showing interest for such an exercise with the DMK for the coming electoral battle.

Swap, Shuffle, Swap

President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with newly-sworn-in ministers at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday reshuffled his council of ministers after 20 months. While he did not drop a single minister, he maintained the status quo by continuing with the top five ministers handling finance, home, defence, external affairs and human resources development. Mr S. Jaipal Reddy, one of the cleanest faces in the Cabinet, will now deal with the key portfolio of petroleum and natural gas.

DMK, Trinamul may face heat

The Congress allies in the UPA, especially the DMK and the Trinamul Congress, could face the heat over the steep hike in petrol price ahead of the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

Cong can’t explain absence of party-ally mechanism

The Congress is finding it difficult to explain as to why there is no need to have a coordination committee between the party and its allies in the UPA when the Congress has decided to have such a mechanism between the Pradesh Congress Committees and Legislature Party at the state level.

Congress-BJP confrontation set to intensify

The confrontation between the two national parties — the Congress and the BJP — is expected to intensify, with the main Opposition seeking to take the Bofors payoffs trail “directly to the doorstep” of the Congress chief.

Cong sets up team for chintan shivir

A five-member team consisting of finance minister Pranab Mukherjee will decide the date and venue for the proposed chintan shivir of the Congress party.

‘Balancing act’ damper on small state demand

The “balancing act” done by Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee report pertaining to the demand for a separate Telangana state, could give a set back to the demand for creating smaller states, especially Vidarbha, Gorkhaland, Bundelkhand, Purvanchal and Harit Pradesh.

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I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.