WOMEN AND Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi’s Facebook page was inundated with over 800 questions on Tuesday as she threw it open for a two-hour live interaction. The issues ranged from tackling crimes against women and malnutrition in children to requests from pregnant women for speeding up the proposed maternity benefits. The minister managed to reply to 100-odd questions in a detailed manner. For a couple of queries, her replies were noticeably succinct. Replying to a question on whether she would ensure passage of the Women’s Bill if her party had majority in the Rajya Sabha, she said, “not my decision”. Maneka didn’t seem to realise that the Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha a few years ago, but is yet to be cleared by the Lok Sabha where her party has full majority. To another remark which sought chemical castration for child abusers, Maneka replied with a cryptic “hmmm”.
UNION Minister Ram Kripal Yadav recently invited his fellow ministers for a get-together at his house. The guests were surprised to see that Yadav, who left the RJD for the BJP on the eve of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, had pictures of almost all the prominent RSS leaders, including M S Golwalkar, Deendayal Upadhyay, K B Hedgewar and Nanaji Deshmukh, on the walls of his house. An amused cabinet minister commented that Yadav has become more “sanghi” than those who had been in the organisation for long.
IT HAS been almost two months since ICHR Chairman Y S Sudershan Rao quit the post. The HRD ministry hasn’t accepted or rejected his resignation. Meanwhile, Rao has stopped going to the ICHR office in Delhi. However, he is discharging his perfunctory duties as the chairman. For instance, at a symposium on “Economic History” on Tuesday, organised by the ICHR in collaboration with the Japan Society for Promotion of Science, Rao sent across a message that was duly printed in the brochure distributed among audience members. He did not, however, attend the inaugural session.