Football mania has gripped the entire nation. While some genuine fans are having a gala time both on screen and on the social media, a number of CEOs and owners of Indian companies are travelling to Russia to enjoy the game live. What is striking is that the CEOs are travelling not because they love the game but because of the slowdown at home with stagnant profits. “Nothing seems moving in India as of now. And, everything has been put on hold till the next General Elections. So it is better to spend time watching football,” said the CEO of a large corporate house. While some are accompanied by their family members, some multinational corporations are taking their clients to the matches to build relationships. The way things are moving at present, it seems the CEOs may end up attending all the sporting events this year.
Matter of seats
The Communist Party of India (Marxist), formed in 1964, has always been the big brother, both in terms of cadre strength and legislative presence, among the other left parties. But the stand taken by former party general secretary Prakash Karat, that the party should not ally with the Congress, and be careful about aligning with other regional parties too, has meant some of the smaller Left parties stealing a march over the CPI (M). The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) and Communist Party of India (CPI) have begun their negotiations for seat adjustments for the forthcoming Assembly polls and also the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. While the CPI is in talks with the Congress on seat adjustment in Chhattisgarh, CPI (ML) chief Dipankar Bhattacharya has met Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad for alliance in Bihar.
Missing in action
The festival of Eid on Saturday saw Muslim leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and former Lok Sabha member Shahnawaz Hussain — hosting lunch for political associates and journalists. With most BJP leaders being vegetarians, both Naqvi and Hussain kept separate vegetarian sections for them. However, many of those seniors gave the two parties a miss barring senior BJP leader L K Advani and Home Minister Rajnath Singh who were gracious enough to honour Hussain's invite. Hussain has found himself marginalised in the party ever since Amit Shah became the president.