Worshipping the chair

June 18 2013

For Rajiv Shukla, a relatively small minister in the Manmohan government found the evening of Sunday to be a pleasant surprise. He got a phone from Chennai and it was the reigning queen of Tamil Nadu Jayalalithaa herself on the other line. She wanted to know if Shukla would be attending the Planning Commission’s meeting that was scheduled for Monday in New Delhi. After Shukla confirmed his presence, Jayalalithaa hung up. The meeting was at 10.30 on Monday morning. Exactly a quarter to 10, an official car from Tamil Nadu house stops at the Planning Commission portico, and two splendid red chairs are brought out. One of the chairs is kept in the Planning Commission vice-president Montek Singh Ahluvalia’s room and the other in the conference hall. It is said that Jayalalithaa suffers from a bad back and therefore, can’t sit on ordinary chairs. She also reached the venue at the appointed time and was carrying copies for her speech. After the meeting was over, Montek and Shukla ji went down to say bye to the Tamil queen, they both were surprised at what they saw. A special footstool was placed in her SUV, 15 Parliamentarians were lined up by the car in lungis and shirts, with the shirt pockets bearing Jayalalithaa’s photo, all standing with their heads bowed – it looked like a scene from a Tamil movie. What was surprising was that a veteran leader such as Thambi Dorai was also present in the queue. After Jayalalithaa left, both Montek and Rajiv Shukla exchanged a look and sighed with relief.

GossipGuru App