29 September, 2020

Shadow Boxing In The South

BJP obliges Jayalalitha but danger lights still flash from Chennai

Shadow Boxing In The South

EVEN as the curtain came down on Act I of the current Jayalalitha-BJP pantomime, the curtain for Act II went up with minimalist ease. A two-hour meeting between the AIADMK supremo and Union defence minister George Fernandes late on the evening of August 14, was followed by a reshuffle involving 17 senior bureaucrats including revenue secretary N.K. Singh and finance secretary Montek Singh Ahluwalia—just a day after Enforcement Directorate chief M.K. Bezbaruah was abruptly transferred—Fernandes told the waiting media contingent outside Jayalalitha's Poes Garden residence: "The talks were positive but I will report them only to the prime minister." Senior AIADMK sources, however, continued to claim that all is not hunky dory yet—Jayalalitha is once again mounting pressure for the prosecution of Tamil Nadu chief minister M. Karunanidhi.

The transfers, according to a senior AIADMK alliance leader, followed a phone call that Fernandes made to Delhi from Jayalalitha's residence in Chennai. She, however, told Fernandes:...



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