Mamata Banerjee will come to Delhi on four-day visit — unusually long by her standards — on December 14 ostensibly to meet prospective investors for Bengal. Her stay has fuelled speculation whether she is plotting another onslaught on what she calls the “minority government” in Delhi. Sources said she is scheduled to meet a few political leaders and test the waters in Delhi.
PARLIAMENTARY Affairs Minister Kamal Nath didn’t know which way to look as Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley kept on praising him while condemning the government for its decision to open multi-brand retail to foreign corporations. Seated besides the Prime Minister, Nath was pleasantly surprised when Jaitley appreciated his role in protecting India’s interests in his previous avatar as Commerce Minister. Jaitley was telling present Commerce Minister Anand Sharma that while he was “selling out” the country to foreign corporations, Nath did a better job than him. Jaitley repeated his appreciation of Nath several times. So much so that Nath finally stood up and clarified that UPA-I was carrying out studies on FDI in retail during the time Jaitley was referring to. He also said it was he who, as Commerce Minister, introduced FDI in single-brand retail.
MAKING A POINT
IT finally took a wrong attribution of a quote for Manmohan Singh to break his silence. For three days, as he listened to speaker after speaker in Parliament on his government’s decision to allow FDI in retail, Singh maintained his usual silence. But he could not keep quiet when JD-U’s N K Singh, while arguing against the move, attributed a quote to American economist John Kenneth Galbraith to make a point. “It was not John Kenneth Galbraith. It was John Maynard Keynes,” the PM corrected him immediately. N K Singh conceded with a slight embarrassment, “Of course, sir. Who would know better than you. It was indeed Keynes.”