Many in Bollywood are surprised by the sudden rise of Breathless singer Shankar Mahadevan in Sangh Parivar circles. He was invited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for several functions and the icing on the cake was his being made the chief guest at the annual Dussehra rally of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at Nagpur. The chief guest is carefully chosen by the RSS. Apparently this is only for starters. Shankar is likely to be given a seat in the Rajya Sabha in recognition of his services to the world of music. The BJP made a huge blunder in promoting another singer, Babul Supriyo, who was elected as an MP and then included in the Union council of ministers despite his utter lack of political experience. He later ditched the BJP and joined Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress. The entire episode has left a bad taste in the BJP’s mouth. Hopefully it will not have to face the music for promoting Shankar Mahadevan, the Mumbaikar who has made it big in music.
On The Gold Trail
The Centre is likely to instruct police officials in the five poll-bound states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram not to detain gold consignments that are backed by valid documents. The police in these states have randomly been holding up consignments under the presumption that these are going to be used to fund the polls. Alarmed by this, Surendra Mehta, national secretary of the India Bullion & Jewellers Association, has written to the election commission to put an end to the harassment. It is learnt that he has also kept Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the loop. Meanwhile, the land grabbing done by a top jeweller of Kerala has come in for scrutiny of Hindu groups. What is particularly irking these bodies is that this high-flying jeweller has encroached on temple land in Thrissur.
Offering It Cheap
I n a desperate move to stall falling circulation and cut down mounting losses, a newspaper has made a downward revision of its annual subscription charges. One year subscription has been reduced from Rs1,299 to Rs1,099; for twoyears the rate is now Rs1,999 (Rs2,399); three years Rs2,899 (Rs3,299) and combo with a pink paper it is Rs2,099 (Rs 2,999) and pink paper one year subscription price is Rs1,399 (Rs2,098). Wonder what other allurements it will give to keep its nose above water.
Staging A Comeback
Then there is a builder who is known to be very close to Dawood Ibrahim and to a senior state politician. In fact, there are reports that he is being financed by these two persons. After maintaining an extremely low profile, he is now trying to bounce back by giving paid interviews. The only problem is that the agencies have so much dope on him that he will find it really difficult to stage a comeback. Samajh gayena???
A massive scam involving a babu of Maharashtra is expected to blow up very soon. This person has been accused of having amassed a few hundred crores in a not-so-ingenious way. This person claims the protection of some powerful leaders of Maharashtra. But the evidence is so strong that no neta would want to be singed by the upcoming scandal.
Compiled by S Balakrishnan