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BJP president Nitin Gadkari simply cannot stop talking about his role in getting the Mumbai-Pune expressway constructed, not even at a prayer meeting for the deceased. At a condolence meeting held at the Chinmaya mission for the former National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra who died last week, Gadkari began speaking by recalling his association with Mishra. He said he had met Mishra in the PMO when he was the PWD minister and urged him to hasten the process for the construction of the expressway. Mishra actively helped him, as a result of which, he was able to get the Rs 2000 crore project successfully through.
HEALTH Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, usually reluctant to undertake foreign tours for either personal or political reasons, is just back from a two-day trip to the Netherlands. He attended the ministerial meeting on the Responsible Use of Medicines and Anti-Microbial Resistance at Amsterdam but what really forced the visit, say sources in the minister's office, is his special rapport with Edith Schippers, Dutch minister of health, sports and welfare. A JNU alumnus, Schippers struck an immediate rapport with Azad during her last visit and sent an invitation that Azad could not refuse.
LEFT and right
THE awkwardness notwithstanding, BJP and Left parties found themselves sharing the stage once again on Tuesday, the second time within a month. The occasion was a conference organised by the Confederation of All India Traders to register its protest against government's decision to allow FDI in retail. BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi and CPM leader Basudeb Acharia both addressed the conference, making a common cause in their opposition to the government decision. Last month, the top leaders of the two parties had famously joined hands on a Bharat Bandh, that too was called against the FDI decision.