Last week,the Haryana government gave additional charge to eight IAS officers in place of those going on poll duty. Interestingly,four of these are already back from poll duty and only have to go for a day of counting on March 6. Those given additional charge came to do the job,only to find the original incumbents on the seat. While no one could explain the logic of issuing such a release,it certainly reflects the generally lethargic functioning of the Haryana government.
Whats the next plum job
The Haryana chief secretary is due to retire the next month. Hectic lobbying is on who will take over,but interest is equally high in where current incumbent Urvashi Gulati will be headed next. This is because the Gulati family of bureaucrats are considered among the top favourites of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. All those in the family who have retired earlier have been adjusted on plum posts after retirement.
Raj Kumar,the seniormost bureaucrat in Haryana after Chief Secretary (CS) Urvashi Gulati,is in an unenviable position. He is due to retire on August 31. So,even if he is given the states top bureaucratic post of CS,he will be on the hot seat for barely a few months. Well aware that the prize catch may slip from his hands on this count,Kumar is already on the lookout for a good post retirement job in the government. One of the posts he was eyeing was chairman of the Haryana State Electricity Regulatory Commission. With another incumbent on the seat,he is again on the lookout.
Not like Opposition
Mediapersons cornered Haryana minister Randeep Singh Surjewala by persistently asking him whether the Opposition parties were correct in saying that the state government has deliberately and unnecessarily put its leg in the smooth issue of reservations quota to Jats in government jobs. Irked by the queries,post the failure of second round of talks between the Haryana government and the members of All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti at Hisar,the minister said: Meri taang Opposition ki taang ke jaisi nahi hai (My leg is not like that of the Opposition). Of course,one doesnt need to make much effort to realise that whom Surjewala was hinting at.
The dabaang accused
While the defence lawyers accused officials of NIA of administering psychotropic substance to Kamal Chauhan accused in the Samjhauta blast case an NIA officer present in the Panchkula court had a different explanation to offer. Dubbing Chauhan as dabaang,he told mediapersons that Kamal is brave enough to admit his crime and has not been administered any psychotropic substance. Responding to the defence allegations that Kamal has lost his mental balance owing to torture,the officer said: He made us lose our mental balance the first day when he took no time in confessing that he bombed the train.
Invoking high spirits
As they await poll results,candidates and others hoping to see better days are trying every way to be in high spirits. While drinks are flowing freely in warm-up parties,some like B I S Chahal,former media advisor to Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh,believe in invoking them from higher levels. Chahal,who is once again flexing his muscles to be back in the reckoning in the Maharajas darbar,is not sporting his biceps but an armful of talisman both for the rajas return to power and his return to high life. But while the Captain obliged him with a personal visit at a family do this month,he will need more than pictures with Amarinder to land once again in the much-envied advisors role. Till March 6,those tabeezs will keep growing in numbers for many an arms in Punjab.
Drained of blood
As if suspense on who returns to power is not killing them already,last week,a blood donation camp was held at the mini secretariat. And while most employees lined up to donate for the cause,many babus kept away. One of their own later said: They are already drained of blood. Those close to the ruling Akali dal are anxious about the end to good times and those in the Congress are not yet sure both of the verdict and what they will get later. Of those who showed conviction for the cause,lost it on the sight of monkeys landing at the grounds to cheer them on. While those lying down could only pray to be spared,the securitymen on duty had some anxious time in shooing the cheerleaders away.
Jai Hind hi nahi,Jai Murrah bolo
Netaji Subhash Chander Bose,who gave the slogan of Jai Hind as a formal way to greet revolutionaries and members of the Indian National Army,must have never thought that his slogan will be diluted to such a level. None other than the Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar,who presided over a buffalo show organised in Haryanas Jind district,chose the slogan to greet Murrah an elite breed of buffaloes with the slogan. While presiding over the show organised by Haryana Animal Husbandry and Dairying Department and J K Trust,Pawar said: Sirf Jai Hind hi nahi,Jai Murrah bhi bolo (Not only Jai Hind,also say Jai Murrah). Only the minister could explain,how and in which context he compared the prestigious slogan to that of praising buffaloes.