MINISTER OF State for Social Justice Ramdas Athawale’s request for an additional principal secretary of his choice was turned down after the PMO expressed reservations regarding the candidate. The RPI (A) leader’s first choice was IFS officer Devyani Khobragade, daughter of former Maharashtra bureaucrat and his party colleague Uttam Khobragade. The PMO, insiders said, was against the appointment, considering Devyani’s controversial stint as the Indian Deputy Consul General in New York. In line for the post now is IRS officer Prashant Rokade, who is currently Roads and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari’s additional principal secretary.
THE SUDDEN indisposition of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, at the end of an otherwise impressive roadshow in Varanasi on Tuesday, has not dampened the spirits of the party, which is set to roll out a series of public outreach programmes soon. According to those close to poll strategist Prashant Kishor, the three-day bus trip of chief ministerial candidate Sheila Dikshit and other senior leaders from Delhi to Kanpur, Rahul Gandhi’s meeting with partymen in Lucknow, and Sonia’s roadshow were just the opening sequence of the campaign. Over two dozen roadshows and public outreach programmes will be undertaken by different leaders across the state after the monsoon session gets over.
Lost In Translation
FEW MPs from Andhra Pradesh had thought that their demand for special status for their state would be mistaken to be a slogan for actor Rajinikanth’s latest film. As these MPs held placards and shouted slogans in the Lok Sabha, they unwitttingly offered some amusement. After shouting “We demand special status” in English, the MPs switched to Telugu. But when they said “Kavaali, Kavaali” (we want, we want), some MPs thought they were shouting “Kabali, Kabali” — the title of Rajinikanth’s new film. One MP was even heard asking what had happened to the film.
Right To Appeal
WOMEN EMPLOYEES in the government who complain of sexual harassment at their workplace can benefit from a new amendment to the rules. So far, if a complainant was not satisfied with the report of the complaints committee to the disciplinary authority, she could not appeal before the final decision. The DoPT has amended the rule to allow the complainant to be given a chance to peruse the report of the committee, and be heard before the disciplinary authority takes a final call. It has been mandated that the authority must “consider” her representation before taking the final decision.