In what appeared as a coordination gap between PR managers of the Congress and the government, a scheduled press meet by media adviser to the PM Pankaj Pachauri almost clashed with another scheduled briefing of Union minister Kapil Sibal at the party headquarters. While Pachauri’s event was scheduled days in advance for noon, the Congress announced its daily briefing at 1 pm Friday. With Pachauri getting delayed by about 20 minutes, his briefing spilled over into the scheduled time of the AICC briefing. As a result, the minister had to delay his briefing, by around half an hour late to accommodate scribes who had to cover both events.
Rly Stint haunts Didi
Towards the fag-end of his tenure as minister of state for Railways, West Bengal state Congress president Adhir Chowdury has circulated a note unearthing alleged irregularities to the tune of Rs 118 crore during the tenure of Mamata Banerjee in Rail Bhawan. A 70-metre rail overbridge, sanctioned during her tenure, at Burdwan has reportedly seen over 100 per cent increase in cost. The note claims that the sanctioned design was such that the bridge did not have any approach road. The note cites that a much bigger bridge in Nagpur has been constructed at half the cost indicating a nexus between the TMC and the contractor. The Railways has now initiated an inquiry.
The National Commission of Minorities is in a quandary. It has received representations from Muslim organisations that the community should be represented among the six members (minus the chairman) in proportion to their population. There is one member each from the five minority communities (Jains not included yet) and one Hindu member apart from the chairman who is currently a Muslim. The problem, say commission officials, is that such a formula of representation, as demanded, would mean that some communities — like Parsis who have a miniscule presence in the country in terms of their numerical strength — might get left out.
Job cut out
While preventing further accidents is the priority for the new Navy Chief, Admiral R K Dhowan has another major task at hand that is tied up with the election of a new government. The sudden exit of D K Joshi in February meant all plans to showcase the newly acquired INS Vikramaditya to the nation went for a toss. The plan was to conduct a ‘PM’s Day at Sea’ onboard the carrier with flying operations by the MiG 29s. This task will now take priority once a new PM takes over and Dhowan has to ensure the carrier is prepared to carry out the function.