Back to the future
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When former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa was submitting his resignation from the BJP, just after noon on Friday, party patriarch L K Advani was calmly listening to a discussion on dengue and chikungunya in the Lok Sabha. Advani's tough stance on Yeddyurappa's demands is believed to be behind the exit of the Karnataka leader from the party who continues to command popular support in his community despite corruption allegations against him. The BJP seemed resigned to a reversal of fortunes in Karnataka, though some senior leaders felt Yeddyurappa's Karnataka Janata Party may finally become part of a BJP-led NDA ahead of the next general elections. But even they are not entirely convinced, considering that Advani continues to be the working chairman of the NDA. Yeddyurappa, meanwhile, is likely to travel to Delhi to call on former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to seek his blessings for his party.
WHILE Parliament started transacting business from Thursday after wasting the first four days, many MPs still do not seem serious about conducting legislative business. The Lower House, which was slated to assemble at 2.10 pm on Friday, could not start in time for want of quorum. The House waited for more MPs to arrive and could begin functioning only at 2.20 pm. But, with weekend approaching, the numbers started dwindling again and fewer than three dozen members were present when the House took up for passage amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act just before the start of private members business at 3.30 pm.
IT was a day of uncertainty at the CBI headquarters with director Amar Pratap Singh bidding farewell to colleagues. Singh demitted office Friday and had a farewell dinner scheduled at 2, Janpath, the new residence of CBI director-designate Ranjit Sinha. The dinner was postponed when news of the death of former prime minister I K Gujral came in. Late in the evening came a government order which authorised special director V K Gupta, a 1977 batch IPS officer, to handle charge of director on a day-to-day basis till Sinha joins. Sinha is scheduled to take charge on Monday.