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They have been allotted seats next to each other in the Rajya Sabha but there is a world of difference between the two women recently nominated to Parliament. Businesswoman and social worker Anu Aga was anxious to learn the ropes from day one even though she was slightly taken aback by the noise and discord on display in the House. Aga was seen making notes during the discussions, familiarising herself with parliamentary practices and finding out from her fellow MPs the research facilities available in Parliament. She attended the House regularly.
Actress Rekha, on the other hand, made an appearance for 20 minutes for her oath ceremony and left even before the question hour was over. Many feel she will follow in the footsteps of Lata Mangeshkar and turn out to be an absentee MP. According to Bollywood, the star has become something of a recluse and entertains few visitors in her home in Mumbai. In fact, several actresses of yesteryear are distinctly peeved at Rekha getting this honour. One of them met a Mumbai Congress leader and complained that she had campaigned for the Congress in the past, while Rekha had not lifted her little finger for the party.
Justice Dalveer Bhandari is to leave for the Hague next month to join the International Court of Justice. Bhandari was perplexed when he received a phone call from Hague asking whether he would like a bicycle to be booked for him. In India, Justices are used to limousines and pilot cars and the thought that in the Hague, most people travel by cycles for short distances came as a culture shock to the honourable judge.
For the wrong reason
As a conscientious Rajya Sabha member, journalist H K Dua has been making thoughtful speeches in Parliament regularly, but the media has taken scant note of his contribution. Last Tuesday, Parliament's watch and ward staff requested Dua to permit Rekha to occupy his corner seat for a few minutes so that she could easily slip out of the bench in order to take her oath. Dua did not bargain that this simple act of courtesy would receive more attention than all his speeches put together. Newspapers throughout the country reported the fact and a friend whom he had lost touch with for the last 35 years even phoned him to ask how it felt sitting next to the former movie star.
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