Mamata Banerjee has been facing severe criticism online for her reluctance to hand over the Burdwan blast probe to the National Investigation Agency. Possibly as a response, the West Bengal Chief Minister posted a passionate statement on her Facebook account, saying how the central government had been interfering in state matters and how that was detrimental to the federal structure. Her Facebook posts generally receive thousands of comments but this time these have not been very charitable. People have mostly sided with the central government and are sarcastically asking her to let ISIS and al-Qaeda set up base in Bengal. Some are also accusing her of trying to shield the perpetrators of the blast.
SKIPPING THE PARADE
Manmohan Singh attended the annual Prime Minister’s Territorial Army Day parade only once in the 10 years he was the Prime Minister. Narendra Modi does not seem particularly fond of the function either. He skipped this year’s parade on Thursday. While his inability to attend had been conveyed to the TA Directorate in advance, the real surprise for the TA came only the day before the parade. After the dress rehearsals with all the three ‘dummy’ service chiefs, the 1,000 participating TA personnel from across the country were informed that the Navy and Air Force chiefs would also not attend the parade. The three service chiefs attend the event every year. But this time, it seems, there was a protocol issue. In the armed forces, the senior most officer is the one who takes the last salute. General Dalbir Singh is junior to both the Navy and Air Force chiefs but as the head of the Territorial Army he had to take the salute last at the function.
Sending out messages in 140 characters on Twitter have become order of the day. A government appointed committee seems to have been inspired by this character-restriction mode and is seeking responses within a fixed number of characters. The T S R Subramanian committee, which is reviewing five environmental laws, has invited ‘suggestions/comments’ from stakeholders in not more than 1,000 characters. This means, hardly seven tweets. And, barely one-and-half tweet per law under review.
A MINISTER’S CALL
Anant Kumar Singh, a UP cadre IAS officer of 1984 batch, is all set to join the Home Ministry as an Additional Secretary. Singh has earlier worked with Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his stint as UP chief minister and when he was a minister in the previous NDA government. The officer is likely to be given the charge of Centre-State division, the only division where an Additional Secretary-level vacancy exists at present.