Whether it is to escape the media or to cut short a few steps, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has started using the rear gate of North Block to enter his office. Unlike his predecessors who used gate number 4 facing Vijay Chowk to enter North Block, Singh uses gate number 6 facing Jalebi Chowk. Since Jalebi Chowk is closer to Singh’s house on Ashoka Road, he prefers using gate number 6 these days but security officials say it is to escape the battery of television crew outside gate number 4. Former home minister Shivraj Patil also used the rear gate.
CRACKING THE WHIP
Home Minister Rajnath Singh is learnt to have pulled up Home Secretary Anil Goswami on Monday. The provocation was said to be a growing perception about a former Congress MP from Assam and his wife influencing policy decisions in the ministry. Meanwhile, the ministry is working overtime to prepare a power-point presentation, spelling out its 100 days’ agenda before Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Singh will not be part of the meeting with the PM but he will clear the final presentation that Goswami will be taking to the PMO.
While several political leaders are off to the cooler climes, Himachal Pradesh Governor Urmila Singh is in the capital. Grapevine has it that she is on a house-hunting visit since her term in the Raj Bhavan is coming to an end in January. Incidentally, two of her counterparts have already quit ever since it became known that the Narendra Modi government wants some of the Raj Bhavan occupants to make way for BJP nominees. Singh, however, plans to complete her term. She hails from Madhya Pradesh, but it seems she plans to stay in the capital after her gubernatorial stint is over.
The Army it seems is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that it gets a good deal from the 7th Pay Commission set up by the last government. Miffed with what it perceives was injustice in the last commission, the Army has already moved the appointment of a two-star general as the Chairman of the Army Pay Commission Cell. The officer, Maj Gen K K Aggarwal has taken charge and will push the Army’s case for pay hikes for soldiers and officers.