Mamata art wows Maneka

March 10th, 2008 - 8:38 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram
(From the corridors of power)

New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee is known to many as a fighter. But her colleague in the Lok Sabha, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Maneka Gandhi, has discovered the finer side of the feisty Banerjee - her beautiful sketches. Noticing that Banerjee kept herself busy sketching when she was not up on her feet raising issues in the Lok Sabha, a curious Maneka Gandhi was seen going up to her Monday. Amazed at the works, the BJP MP, who has a special taste for art and art promotions, suggested that Banerjee could hand over the sketches to her instead of throwing them into the dustbin.

Maneka Gandhi said she would auction or sell the MP’s sketches and give the money to an NGO working in environment. Banerjee is believed to have agreed to give a thought to it.


Election is the buzzword, but MPs still confused

Are the general elections happening or not? The question has MPs frenetically debating an answer. Some say elections are on and cite Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s populist budget and Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s farmers’ rally in New Delhi Sunday in support of their belief.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s remarks have only added to the confusion. He first said that nobody was thinking of elections - currently. And then told journalists inside parliament house Monday: “Elections could take place any time. It could be within three months or after six months… any time before next May.”

“Which statement is to be believed?” asked a bewildered Congress MP.


Speaker needs ‘protection’ from Mamata

Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee is not a regular in the Lok Sabha. But when she comes to the house, she makes her presence felt. On Monday, Banerjee gave a new twist to the acronym for state-owned telephony provider BSNL, calling it “Bhai Saab Nahin Lenge”.

According to Banerjee, the services of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd are useless as many telephone lines are tapped. “You cannot speak a single line. Everything has been tapped,” she said, asking the home ministry to give an explanation.

“It is a matter of privilege. Are you tapping the telephones of all the MPs? Are you treating them as criminals?” a furious Banerjee asked during question hour.

Although Communication Minister A. Raja denied the charges, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee assured the MP that he would compel the government to make an inquiry if she writes to him. “It is my duty,” Chatterjee said.

When Banerjee, who has had many a verbal duel with the speaker in the past, sought the “chair’s protection”, Chatterjee quipped, “Vice versa also!”

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