The mega show absentees

Delhi Confidential

Trans-border friendship

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar these days is enjoying the hospitality of a dear friend in Pakistan while attending a conference of Speakers of SAARC countries. The Speaker of Pakistan's National Assembly also happens to be a woman — Fehmida Mirza — and Kumar is known to enjoy an excellent rapport with her. Mirza, who has a striking resemblance to former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, became the Speaker in 2008, the first woman to hold this position in any South Asian country. A few months later when Kumar became the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Mirza wrote a congratulatory letter. During Kumar's visit to Pakistan in February this year, as head of a parliamentary delegation, the two women are said to have spent quite some time together. Kumar conducted most of her conversations in Urdu which impressed her counterpart a lot.

Grid Grind

AS part of his efforts to acquaint himself with the workings of his ministry, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde is visiting various places and organisations that concern his ministry's operations. Early last week, his stop was the makeshift headquarters of NATGRID in a Connaught Place building. Pushed incessantly by previous Home Minister P Chidambaram as an organisation that will collate and integrate databases from a variety of agencies to collect information on terrorists and terror agencies, NATGRID seemed to have fallen off the radar for some time. Its demands to let it have flexibility in hiring expert manpower has run into trouble in the Home Ministry. During his visit, Shinde is learnt to have assured that NATGRID will continue to get top priority from his ministry and all issues will be sorted out urgently.

Estranged neighbours

THEY are former comrades in arms who still share a name — Anna Hazare is yet to shed the IAC tag formally. Now it seems Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal will also be neighbours. Hazare's new office at KA-1, Kaushambi, Ghaziabad, is all set to be inaugurated on November 5. Kejriwal operates out of A-119 Kaushambi.

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