When President Pranab Mukherjee donned the cap of a teacher to give lessons in Constitution and political history to students of a government school in the President’s Estate, it evoked nostalgia in another politician who had studied in the same school. CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury did his higher secondary education in the institution. The memories are sweeter for Yechury because he topped the science stream in the school-leaving CBSE exam.
Minister of State in the Human Resource Development Ministry Upendra Kushwaha has been juggling his responsibilities as a minister and as the head of his party — Rashtriya Lok Samata Party. With elections in Bihar due to be announced any time now, Kushwaha has been spending most of his time in the state managing his party’s affairs. However, he had to fly to Delhi Thursday night to attend the Prime Minister’s interaction with students Friday morning to mark Teachers’ Day. But as he had a party event in Bihar later in the day, he flew back to Patna after the PM’s function. He again took a flight to Delhi in the night to ensure his presence during the ministry’s function on Saturday where the President will give away national awards to outstanding teachers.
A change of guard in the Punjab Congress was said to be imminent. But after two days of hectic deliberations, not much headway could be made. The problem seems to be veteran leader Amarinder Singh’s insistence on having a person of his choice appointed as the PCC chief, replacing incumbent Partap Singh Bajwa. The central leadership is keen to appoint general secretary Ambika Soni, a heavyweight who would not succumb before Singh. Sources said a decision is expected only next week after the CWC meeting on Tuesday. In case of West Bengal too, the party has signalled that some solution to the factionalism would be found in a month. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had a meeting with state party chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who is in the firing line of many state leaders. One gets to hear that C P Joshi, the high command’s pointsman, has taken it upon himself to sort out the issues in a month.
Time In Hand
The cabinet extension for another four months to complete their work took the officers of the Seventh Pay Commission by surprise. They had asked for only a month’s extension. Since it would have taken them too close to the Bihar election schedule, the Cabinet extended the time period to the end of December. The officers are now wondering how to use the additional time.