All on Hold
Call it yet another administrative casualty of the poll code of conduct. Meetings of the standing financial committees of the six All India Institutes of Medical Science have been put on hold as many MPs who are members of these committees are contesting elections and, therefore, have to seek the Election Commission’s permission to attend these meetings. Erring on the side of caution, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, meanwhile, has sought the poll panel’s permission for attending the Florence Nightingale Awards for nursing excellence at Rashtrapati Bhawan on May 12.
Jamaat-E-Islami Hind had issued a list of preferred candidates for Muslim voters in 245 seats across the country where Muslims have a substantial presence. While AAP was the preferred choice in five Delhi seats, an interesting omission from the list is the party’s best known Muslim face Shazia Ilmi. In Ghaziabad, the Jamaat has supported the BSP candidate. This despite the fact that there are 22 women in the list.
No longer hub
Gujarat Bhawan in New Delhi is currently not as much a political hotspot as it was until recently. Reason being that post-Delhi elections and BJP parliamentary board meetings, Narendra Modi is hardly stopping by in the capital. His war room is in Gandhinagar from where he flies out for his daily rallies and usually lands back there after the day is done. His close aide Amit Shah, who is in charge of party affairs in Uttar Pradesh, used to be seen more often at Gujarat Bhawan. However, even Shah now prefers operating from his Jangpura residence as the model code of conduct bans political meetings from the site. So much so that even a gathering of 10-15, if found sitting in Gujarat Bhawan cafeteria, is asked to leave.
While the country is in election mode, the Rural Development Ministry has decided to give a push to the implementation of the UPA government’s flagship MGNREGA. It has sanctioned the purchase of tablets to promote use of technology in MGNREGA and seeding of Aadhaar into the database. In a circular dated April 21, it also asked some states to identify such blocks by April 30 where this programme will be implemented. It has set a deadline of July 1— well after the new government is expected to take over — for the data to start flowing in through such a mobile interface.