Vajpayee a 'Really Incredible Person': Derek O'Brien at prayer gathering

File photo of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at his residence in New Delhi | PTI photo
Vajpayee a 'Really Incredible Person': Darek O'Brien at prayer gathering

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday organised a prayer meeting in memory of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party chief Amit Shah, senior BJP leader L K Advani and several Opposition leaders. Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha leader Derek O'Brien, employing his characteristic word play, said it is usual to express condolences for a departed with the phrase 'RIP', which means 'rest in peace'. But for Vajpayee, R.I.P. should mean a 'Really Incredible Person'. O'Brien remembered the time when Vajpayee had travelled to Kolkata to visit Trinamool Congress chief and ally Mamata Banerjee's home, where he had bent down to touch her mother's feet.

Wanted by Mexico

“If these drawings look familiar, you may be wanted by Mexico,” states a message from the Mexican Embassy in New Delhi, along with pictures of seven paintings. The Embassy is on the hunt for a handful of Indian children. These children, who are now either nearing or well past their retirement ages, participated in a painting festival organised as part of the cultural activities during the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. The theme of the festival was ‘A World of Friendship’ and children from 80 countries contributed. Now the project, “A World of Friendship — 50 years later”, is preparing an exhibition in Mexico City to feature the few surviving pieces of the originally 1,800-strong collection. All that is known about the eight Indian participants is their name and age. The Embassy has tracked down one participant from Gujarat. Jitendra Navnitlal Parikh was 15 at the time and passed away in 1998 after a long illness. The other Indian participants were Sujata Sharma, Ira Sachdeva, Sanat Kundu, Vivek, Ela Ems and Leela Sudakaran.

Money and Mani

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram held a press meet over the conclusions thrown up by the back-series gross domestic product (GDP) figures provided by a panel. He said the data shows the Narendra Modi government had inherited an economy that was on the upswing, but it stumbled on account of demonetisation, tax terrorism and flawed implementation of the GST. Some journalists asked him about the Congress party having revoked the suspension of senior leader Mani Shankar Aiyar. It is no secret that the two do not get along. Chidambaram defended Aiyar but eventually said: “The focus of the press conference is the economy. The only common factor is ‘money’ — M-A-N-I and M-O-N-E-Y. So, I think we can stop there.”

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