Recently retired Air Chief NAK Browne may have become invisible from the capital, building a house as he is in Hyderabad, but he is not far away from the circles of power. The buzz is that the top retired officer is being considered as a serious contender to be appointed as the next Ambassador to Oslo. If this goes through, he would follow the footsteps of Admiral Nirmal Verma, who was appointed as High Commissioner to Canada.
Intrigued by the changing public appearances of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi — sometimes clean-shaven but mostly with stubble — someone recently asked him at an interaction in Chandigarh why he does not shave daily. Though stumped by the question, Rahul recovered and responded that his beard is so stiff that he gets rashes when he shaves. It’s not clear yet whether his reply would finally put an end to speculation about his appearances timed to go with the event or audience.
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Union minister Shashi Tharoor is not only back to work but also to Twitter. He resumed tweeting on February 17 — exactly a month after his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death. His first tweet was thanking all for the condolences offered. Apart from his ministerial and party-related engagements, Tharoor also tweeted a link to his interview with a TV channel where he shared his grief on his wife’s loss. Earlier this week, the minister, who has more than 2.1 million followers on Twitter, indicated why he was immersed in work. “Work — demanding, all-consuming, exhausting work — is the best anesthetic for grief,” he tweeted. He launched his new website as well with a special section titled ‘Remembering Mrs Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor’, complete with family photographs.
TWIST IN TALE
There is a fresh twist in the selection of Director of Enforcement Directorate. The committee of secretaries of home, revenue, personnel department and the central vigilance commissioner met on February 25 and selected Anjali Duggal for the post. It is reliably learnt that the government now wants to review its choice and appoint Pravir Kumar for the post. The revenue department has suggested that the appointment committee should reject the name and a fresh panel be constituted and push Kumar for the top slot in ED. The revenue department suddenly seems to have found that Duggal is eligible to be empanelled as Secretary in a few months. The buzz is that Kumar, related to an aide of Rahul Gandhi, lost out at the last moment as he inadvertently did not write “as on date” in his annual property return, which has gone on record on the minutes of meeting.