When she gets going Mamata Banerjee can be relentless. Whether it's in smelling a conspiracy over a delay in her flight landing, or in suspecting a "coup" in a routine Army exercise, Didi can produce some booming serves out of, well, nowhere.
The ruling BJP knows this now going to get more hectic. Mamata has seen the big vacuum in the main Opposition space in Delhi and is out to grab it ahead of 2019. And as she sets her eyes on centrecourt, the charges are going to fly thick and fast. So to handle that, the party is frantically looking for someone who speaks her language. Literally.
So far the task of guarding the Gujarat lion from the incessant clawing of the Bengal tigress has fallen on Babul Supriyo and Roopa Ganguly. The two can be spotted in Parliament premises urgently exchanging notes on "Didi ki boleche " (what has Mamata Di said now). And they are trying to give it back bengo for bengo, naara for naara.
"Didi shashuri bhaabh korche .. PM bouma and shobh kharaap oor modde (Didi is behaving like a mother-in-law and treating the PM like a daughter-in-law who can never do anything right)," said one of the BJP netas from West Bengal.
Will the duo be able to contain Didi? Too early to say. But as of of now, if your CV reads Bengali and anti-Mamata, your career in the BJP is due for a few double promotions.
Your world view certainly changes when you get a lal batti. A former editor who is now a minister, refuses to take any questions, even on his ministry. You have to put in a request through his information officer.
At the Heart of Asia Summit when journalists mobbed him for a sound byte, he moved the mics away refusing to speak.
"Things have changed," he said. "Earlier I used to ask questions, but now I question your questions."
Oh! in case you haven't noticed. One small thing hasn't changed yet. By his own admission. He still questions. Even if it's only those asking questions.
CBI director Anil Kumar Sinha is set to retire in a less than two weeks. But Power Circuit learns the government is unlikely to appoint a regular successor immediately.
As per the selection guidelines laid down by the Lokpal Act (through amendments made to the Delhi Police Special Establishment Act), the CBI director must be selected by a panel comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition and Chief Justice of India or a Supreme Court judge appointed by the CJI.
This is what we learn: The Centre is likely to appoint the seniormost special director, RK Dutta, as officiating director till Chief Justice TS Thakur retires in January.
No paper on appointing Sinha's successor has ben moved so far though he has only a few more days left in office.
No need to talk here in detail on the strain in relations between the government and the CJI over the appointment of judges in higher courts.
Everyone has their own take on demonetisation. Even our parliamentarians, cutting across party affiliations, may come out with their own gems if you ask them in private. Don't ask us whether they preach what they actually practice.
Among those MPs sought by journalists for a sound byte on the note ban was Samajwadi Party's Amar Singh. Singh, who has travelled the world, immediately held forth on why India was not yet ready for a cashless economy. He said that while places like western Europe or Singapore were ready for it, India wasn't. People in many towns and villages prefer to keep their money in earthen pots rather than bags. "We are still not a plastic economy," he said adding that even at the Central Hall in Parliament, MPs were struggling to find change to buy tea.
"As for me, I meet my expenses with these," he said pulling out a few hundred rupee notes from his kurta pocket.
Lest anyone thought he wasn't yet ready for the Digital Age, Singh immediately dipped into his other pocket and pulled out two pieces of plastic with a flourish.
"I did make the switch to a digital economy long ago," he announced. The journalists strained to find out what they were: two black American Express cards. Those select ones, with infinite purchasing power.
Messiah of the poor. That's the latest sobriquet gaining currency in BJP circles, especially after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.
As in many cases in the past, the credit for such creativity went to Information and Broadcasting minister Venkaiah Naidu. At different venues during the past one week, Naidu referred to the PM as 'gareebon ka maseeha' who will not go back on the currency ban because he cares for the poor.
From 'Hindu Hriday Samrat' to 'Vikas Purush' to 'Gareebon ka Maseeha.' A close aide of a veteran BJP leader, who has seen Modi rise from from a junior party functionary to the highest executive office in the country, has a crisp take on it: "Narendrabhai mein vichitra kala hai khud ko reinvent karne ki (Narendrabhai has this unique art of reinventing himself)."
He also reminded Power Circuit of what happened at the first BJP parliamentary party meeting. An emotional Modi had said he is pained that in 70 years the poor of the country haven't got clean drinking water, sanitation and basic amenities.
In the first days of demonetisation, it was again an emotional Modi who said he will not withdraw the cash ban even at risk to his life. These changes in templates are enough to keep even his smartest rivals guessing.