WHEN RAHUL Gandhi met a group of 35-odd Congress leaders — among them P Chidambaram, Kumari Selja, Kishore Chandra Deo and Pallam Raju — the other day to discuss ways to rebuild the party, some digressed and talked about public pronouncements of some of the top leaders. There was mention about K V Thomas, who last week called for an alliance of opposition parties to take on the BJP. Many felt the morale of the cadre goes down because of the out-of-turn remarks of some leaders. The talk about alliance also confuses the cadre on the ground, they pointed out. Rahul did not comment and asked the leaders to volunteer to go to the states, not their respective ones, to rebuild the party.
THE MAKEOVER of the RSS Delhi headquarters at Jhandewalan has just got delayed by at least a few years. Major portions of the old building were demolished last year, as in its place a swanky seven-storeyed, Rs 70-crore complex was to be built. Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat laid the foundation stone of the new building last November in the presence of Home Minister Rajnath Singh and veteran BJP leader L K Advani. The Sangh had even announced the deadline of three years. But Swayamsevaks now want to add more floors, and the construction map is being made all over again.
HOME MINISTER Rajnath Singh’s OSD Binod K Singh, an IPS officer from 1994 batch, has finally been transferred to his home cadre in Uttar Pradesh. He has been replaced with another IPS officer from UP, Amrendra Kumar Sengar from 1995 batch. Sengar came on deputation with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) initially and was asked to take over as OSD. Singh, who earlier served with NSG, took over as the Home Minister’s OSD in 2014. He is likely to be promoted on his return to cadre.
THE INORDINATE delay in granting ‘Institute of National Importance’ (INI) status to the new Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) has made their directors nervous. Without the INI status, IIITs cannot award degrees to students and this month the first batch of IIIT-Guwahati and IIIT-Vadodara, among others, is set to graduate. The Bill to give them degree granting powers was introduced in Parliament only last month and it wasn’t passed by both Houses. Desperate, some of the IIITs applied for deemed university status but, apparently, their application was rejected as they don’t qualify for the category. Looks like hundreds of students will graduate without degrees.