The Three Star Meet

Updated: Sep 18 2003, 05:30am hrs
After the swayamvar, it was blessings and thanksgiving time for the duo Star India chief, Peter Mukerjea, and editor-in-chief of Ananda Bazar Patrika, Aveek Sarkar.

The partnership was finalised last week between the Kolkata-based ABP group and Rupert Murdochs Star News. But before making a public announcement of the deal, Mr Mukerjea and Mr Sarkar paid a joint visit to some key ministries.

Deputy prime minister LK Advani is said to have offered tea and Marie biscuits to his esteemed guests! While Star officials preferred to call it a courtesy visit, observers are interpreting it more as a trip to seek Mr Advanis blessings after tying the knot.

Tired of getting weekly extensions for uplinking its news channel from India, Star would certainly need such blessings to avoid any rough patch with the government.

Media-shy Hussain
Facing the TV camera lights is any ministers fond dream, especially when charming reporters stalk them for a sound byte.

Textiles minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, however, is an honourable exception as he prefers not to face TV cameras. Is that because he is media shy Maybe not, but at the Textile Conference 2003 organised by FICCI recently in Mumbai, one of the reporters from a prominent channel desperately wanted bytes from the minister, but the latter kept turning away.

Each time the TV reporter asked for a byte, the minister would say, You can speak to the textiles commissioner for comments. Just a few bytes for our viewers, the TV reporter urged. You can take the views of the textiles commissioner... intoned the minister.