All atwitter

All atwitter

When two leading lights of the Twitterati take potshots at each other, sparks are bound to fly and the Tweet world goes atwitter. It began with Lalit Modi taking digs at Arun Jaitley, against whom he holds a grudge since he believes Jaitley played a role in his ouster from the IPL. In response to one of Modi's comments, someone posted that it was because of Jaitley that the Radia tapes were not discussed in Parliament and Barkha Dutt was saved from embarrassment. Modi promptly posted the tweet to Dutt, and the journalist entered the fray. Threatened with legal action, the man who tweeted the comment about the Radia tapes retracted and according to the Twitter buzz, even closed his Twitter account. Dutt asked Modi to retract since the man who actually made the charge had backtracked. But Modi is not one to back down. Instead, he raised a long-standing grievance against Dutt for "negative coverage" of the IPL when he was in charge. The slanging match was fast and furious. Dutt wondered how a man on the run who was not willing to face a probe in India could lecture her on ethics. Modi threatened legal action in retaliation. "My lawyers in London have just written to you to address the issue on hand immediately."

Innocents abroad

There were some embarrassing moments during the goodwill visit to Australia in February by a parliamentary delegation led by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla. For instance, a woman MP from the DMK was asked to give the vote of thanks at one of the dinners. The MP was effusive in praising Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry and the minister for having selected her for the trip. But she completely forgot to thank the host country and her parliamentary counterparts from the other side for the dinner. A JD(U) MP got into a heated argument with the hotel staff because they could not understand his request for a "balti (bucket)" and a "mugga (mug)" for his bath. The management was equally puzzled about his request for "nimbu (lemon)" with hot water and the riddle could not be resolved even after he kept describing it as a "sour fruit". Finally, a fellow Indian was summoned to translate his instructions to the hotel manager.

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