Amid reports that the BJP plans to declare Home Minister Rajnath Singh as its chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh, his close aides seem eager to cite “historical evidence” against such claims. They point out that the BJP has done poorly in the state whenever there has been a CM candidate. The party’s tally came down when it projected Uma Bharti in 2012 and Kalyan Singh in 2007, 1996 and 1993. Even when Rajnath led the battle, it slumped from 154 to 89 in 2002. On the other hand, it reached its maximum tally of 221 in 1991, when no one was projected. BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi, always ready with a couplet to put across his point, went on to say: “Yadi senapati ki chah hai tumhe, Ramdal mein fazil hain, ek nahi, bisiyon senapati banane ke kaabil hain (If you need someone to lead the army, Ram’s army has not one, but twenty capable contenders).”
After years of waiting, senior officers in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting may soon have a reason to rejoice. Paving the way for promotions across all levels, a Committee of Secretaries (CoS) has cleared the promotion of two director general-rank officers to the principal director general rank. Among those who will benefit from the decision is current DG, Press Information Bureau, Frank Noronha. The CoS has also recommended promotion of five additional DGs as DGs, a move that will take the total number of DGs to 11. The recommendations still require the sanction of the Finance Ministry.
While MLAs loyal to Bhupinder Singh Hooda and those from rival camps surprisingly spoke in one voice at a meeting convened to discuss the strategy for Rajya Sabha polls Friday, the division in the Haryana Congress was all too apparent before the meeting. Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar and CLP leader Kiran Choudhury — both considered opposed to Hooda — arrived at AICC office 15 minutes before the meeting. Randeep Surjewala, also an MLA, was already at the office, while new entrant Kuldeep Bishnoi came with his MLA right on time. But the meeting could not start as neither Hooda nor a dozen-odd MLAs had arrived. So all those who had reached had to wait. Half an hour later, a fleet of vehicles arrived, with sirens blaring. It was Hooda, who arrived with a dozen MLAs, letting everyone know who the legislators owe their allegiance to.