It is not common for a Union minister to represent his ministry’s case in front of a parliamentary committee. But earlier this month, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari volunteered to answer queries before the Rajya Sabha Select Committee on the Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill. The multi-party committee, headed by Gadkari’s party colleague Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, was said to be in rapt attention as Gadkari laid out accident statistics and specific provisions proposed in the Bill to prevent them with stricter punishment. During the formation of the committee in August, Gadkari had volunteered to answer all the queries himself, if called.
BJP general secretary Saroj Pandey seems to have got additional responsibility since she hit the headlines for threatening to gouge out the eyes of CPM cadres who “show eyes” to BJP workers in Kerala. Pandey, who recently visited Communist-ruled Tripura for party work, has now been assigned to visit Kerala for the party’s organisational review. Given the traction her remarks got among party cadres in Kerala, the party assesses that her visit is likely to enthuse the workers to continue their political battle against the ruling party.
The debacle in the Chitrakoot byelection has become a major embarrassment for BJP leaders, who make it a point to highlight every election win — including in local body polls — as a major achievement. On Monday, when Union minister Prakash Javadekar came to brief the media, he was flooded with questions on the party’s defeat. Javadekar is Rajya Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh. Besides, he had adopted Paldev village, which is in Chitrakoot region, under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana. The minister argued that Paldev village voted for BJP.
Always In Action
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal seems to be living up to his image of “minister-in-action” every moment. When he came to the BJP office on Tuesday, someone complained to him about the delay in getting cash back on the IRCTC website after cancellation of tickets. Goyal immediately telephoned the officer concerned and sought a note on the normal and maximum time this takes. The minister directed the official to make a protocol and stick to it. On a lighter note, he added that if they fail to follow the protocol, he would consider imposing interest on the delayed payments.