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Nora Chopra is a senior journalist with a finger on the pulse of the Indian political scene

Stalin’s makeover

DMK leader M.K. Stalin is preparing for a makeover for the 2016 Assembly polls if a short campaign film for the party is anything to go by. Titled Mudiyattum Vidiyatum (let it end and let it dawn), Stalin is seen on a small boat. Even offscreen, Stalin has taken to walking the street in a casual T-shirt and mingling with the aam aadmi. As Saravanan, the DMK spokesperson, put it, "We want to take Tamil Nadu on a new path, so thalapathi has donned a new role. He mingles with people in this movie." The dig of course is at the aloof nature of Jayalalithaa, the current Tamil Nadu CM. Well, Stalin is donning grease paint after almost 30 years. Will this script a happy ending for his party next year?

Missed call

For the high-profile dinner hosted by PM Narendra Modi for Indian CEOs, he chose an Amritsar born chef Vikas Khanna to cater. After the seven-course meal got over, the PM thanked Vikas, saying that he (Vikas) had done him (Modi) proud. An excited Vikas wanted Modi to repeat this praise to his mother and tried to call her in India so that the PM could speak to her. Unfotunately for him, his mother didn't pick up her phone and so missed what would have been a historic conversation for the Khanna family.

Dynasty helps

Siddhartha Nath Singh got a pleasant surprise when he visited the 1965 war exhibition at the India Gate recently. Strangers walked up to him offering smiles and handshakes. This is not so much because of his current job as BJP spokesperson, but for the fact that he is Lal Bahadur Shashtri's grandson. And there is a lot of gratitude for the former PM's leadership during the war with Pakistan. Well, sometimes dynasty helps even in the BJP.

Where is Rahul Gandhi?

There is a lot of speculation about Rahul's mysterious visit to the US, coinciding with Prime Minister Modi's visit there. The initial speculation on social media was that he had gone to visit his ailing grandmother. The next day, Congress spokesmen let it be known that he had, in fact, gone to Aspen to attend a "Weekend with Charlie Rose" conference. However, media calls to Washington DC where the Aspen Institute is headquartered revealed that the conference got over in July this year. A gleeful BJP shot back saying that the Congress allies had sent Rahul on a "forced vacation" to prevent him from campaigning in Bihar. Many TV debates later, the main question still remains. Where is Rahul Gandhi and why is the Congress obfuscating his whereabouts?

Pink turbans dominate kisan rally

Pink-turbaned supporters of former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda clearly dominated the Congress' kisan rally at the Ramlila Ground last week. This was because Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ajay Maken, the organiser of the rally, failed to mobilise party workers wearing Tricolour caps. He had specially got Tricolour caps made for the party's Delhi workers, but most anti-Maken factions chose to stay away from the rally.

Mamata on a high

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee seems to have consolidated her Muslim vote bank and struck an emotional chord with Bengalis in general with two of her recent moves. While her refusal to ban cow slaughter has reassured the minorities, the declassification of the 64 files on Subhas Chandra Bose, an emotional issue for Bengalis, has put pressure on the Centre to declassify the files in its possession.

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