Headlines: 2nd February, 2009

Here’s how bad the recession is. Even with the Lok Sabha polls coming up shortly, the Election Commission is downsizing its workforce.

CEC N. Gopalaswami has suo motu recommended that Navin Chawla be removed from office on the alleged grounds of ‘partisanship.’ Gopalaswami almost pulled it off before the Congress realized that suo motu meant that he dint have to give a damn about anyone else.

First the EC announces the election dates. Then the CEC wants to fire his co-worker. Fascinating. This, incidentally, explains why we need more than a month to conduct elections even though we’ve upgraded to electronic voting booths.

Lots of focus on Article 324(5) and its interpretation. I don’t see what the fuss is all about. The relevant passage reads ‘ the CEC cannot act on his own and must await a ‘reference’ from the President, if only to justify Pratibha Patil’s existence in the Universe’.

On the plus side, it’s good to see the Congress and BJP studying the Constitution again. That book was starting to collect some dust.

When asked if he could have timed the announcement better, Gopalaswami enigmatically replied that it was just a case of ‘Luck by Chance’.

With Gopalaswami retiring in April and Navin Chawla possibly removed, the EC would be reduced to one member – SY Quraishi. It suddenly becomes clear why TN Seshan called him a lucky b*****d.

Since the election dates have been announced, the Congress is henceforth not allowed to make any major policy decisions. Great. First it was the Left. Now the EC. Will someone let the Congress make some policy decisions already?

Good news on Satyam. The govt. has identified a replacement for Ramalinga Raju. The new CEO is Hashmatullah Khan, an unknown exporter of shawls from Kashmir.

Did you read about it? This guy was somehow nominated for a Padma Shri in the category of ‘art’, while he is not a craftsman is the slightest sense of the word. He sells shawls. While this does not reflect well on the awards process, I don’t feel that bad about Aishwarya Rai winning it anymore.

But I am worried about rumours that she might contest in the coming elections with the Samajwadi Party. In Bihar, of all places. For once, Bal Thackeray was not complaining that the Bachchans were not doing enough for Maharashtra.

Looks like the SP wants to match the RJD in terms of candidates with similar profiles. You know, like the IQ. Enter beauty contest winner. It all fits.

Michael Phelps, who won a record 8 gold medals for swimming at the Beijing games last summer, has been caught smoking cannabis. Amazing, isn’t it? I dint even know he was planning to run for President!

Obama blasted the Wall Street bonuses and asked execs to show some ‘restraint, discipline, and responsibility’. For some reason, ex-deputy CM Chandar Mohan and actress Priety Zinta also ended up apologizing to him.

After Bush, it was the turn of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to have a shoe throw at him during a speech. I know that Tim Geithner really wants China to re-evaluate its currency, but this is hardly the way to go about it.



  1. I love how the slum dwellers were the ones who complained about Preity Zinta when these same guys have Ganesh Chathurti and Durga Pooja celebrations all night long – I live down the road from Zinta’s house and know this to be true. Those guys have random programs throughout the year with loud music and dancing and nobody complains about them!


  2. @Sanjana – Maybe that’s a bit harsh on the slum dwellers. When you think about it, the festivals are the only occasions when they get to celebrate life at all. Not necessarily the case with Zinta.


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