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Doon School will have a larger representation in the 15th Lok Sabha than ever before. There are at least eight alumni of the exclusive public school which calls itself the Eton of India. The winners include Kalikesh Singh Deo (BJD) from Orissa, RPN Singh (Cong) from UP, Rahul Gandhi (Cong) from UP, Kamal Nath (Cong) from Madhya Pradesh, Jyotiraditya Scindia (Cong) from MP, Jitin Prasada (Cong) from UP, Udayan Raje Bhosale (NCP)from Maharashtra and Dushyant Singh (BJP) from Rajasthan. The clout of the school is even more impressive when you consider that a number of the winners are bound to be made ministers. The Doon losers are: Akbar Ahmed, Mani Shankar Aiyer and Raninder Singh. The unusual number of parliamentarians who hail from just one school was first noticed back in the Eighties. School chums of Rajiv and Sanjay Gandhi, like Kamal Nath, Arun Singh and Akbar Ahmed were encouraged to enter politics along with the Gandhis. Incidentally, Rahul Gandhi and Udayan Raje Bhosale attended Doon at some point, but did not graduate from the school.
Bloomer of blooms
RLD President Ajit Singh's house has been inundated with flowers after the Lok Sabha elections. A scribe noticed Rahul Gandhi's name on one bouquet and assumed that the Amethi victor had also sent Ajit greetings because he wanted his party to join the UPA. Another journalist put him wise, pointing out that Gandhi's address—12 Tughlaq Lane— and Ajit's address—12 Tughlaq Road—are remarkably similar.
At their Thiruvanthapuram election rallies, the Communists used to joke that the 'outsider' Shashi Tharoor certainly had some mysterious and powerful backer. After all, neither the local unit nor the state Congress committee was consulted on his nomination. Tharoor was selected even though he had lampooned the Congress and the Gandhis in one of his books. Now a furious CPI, which lost what they assumed was a sure shot seat by some 100,000 votes, alleges that CPI (M) cadres did not work for their candidate, P Ramachandran Nair. CPI cadres say that Tharoor has influence not only in the Congress but also in the CPI(M). He is, after all, a friend of both Prakash and Brinda Karat.