Gone are the days when sidelined Congress leaders used to call for anointing Rahul Gandhi as the PM candidate or beseech Priyanka Vadra to enter politics to hog media limelight. Attacking Narendra Modi or taking a dig at him on unusual issues is the latest way for Congress leaders who have lost relevance to stay in news. On Wednesday, former Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi shot off a letter to Modi — and duly released it to the media — saying he was pained by the fact that his mother still lives in an 8×8 room and came in an autorickshaw to cast her vote despite Modi disclosing total assets over Rs 1.25 crore when he filed his nomination. Alvi offered to provide Modi’s mother all necessary comforts of life and sought his permission to do so. Last week, AICC minority department secretary Anees Durrani — concerned about the well-being of Modi’s wife Jashodaben — had written to Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, urging him to find out her whereabouts and provide her police protection.
With impending change in New Delhi after the Lok Sabha polls, a churning in the bureaucracy has already begun. Vineel Krishna, PS to Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, has quit his post and is joining as the Chief Operating Officer of Roshni, with the Government of India-UNDP project ‘Governance and Accelerated Livelihoods Supports’. A 2005-batch Orissa cadre IAS officer, Krishna made headlines when was abducted by Maoists in 2011. Ramesh had handpicked Krishna to be his PS in 2011.
The Pakistan mission is slowly opening its doors to Delhi’s elite. While there were musical performances by leading Pakistani singers last year, the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi has started a lecture series this week, after the arrival of new High Commissioner Abdul Basit. Dr Sayed Amjad Hussain, a US-based cardiothoracic surgeon, who is also a writer and photographer, was the speaker for the first lecture. Dr Hussain, who spoke on “Random Thoughts of a Traveller”, was listened in by several Indian guests, including Ram Jethmalani.
CBI director Ranjit Sinha’s power quotient seems to be on the rise. While BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi has not secured her support till now, Sinha seems to have worked his way around Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa. Having blocked an appointment for four months, the state government has finally given a go-ahead to Tamil Nadu cadre officer Archana Ramasundaram to join the agency as additional director. It is learnt that Sinha leaned on DoPT to obtain Ramasundaram’s release from her parent cadre. Incidentally, this gives Sinha a leeway of at least six months to allow favoured CBI officer Javed Ahmad, joint director (policy), to give a shot at the post of additional director once Ramasundaram is elevated to the post of special director, which is due within the next few months.
Was it a slip of the tongue or premonition? Law Minister Kapil Sibal Tuesday told journalists that Narendra Modi has been targeting media in Gujarat and reeled out instances of the curbs his government allegedly imposed over the years. He said these are signals of the days to come. Asked if he was conceding defeat, Sibal sought to wriggle out, insisting he meant there could be more to come in Gujarat. “We have not conceded defeat. Had we conceded defeat, would I be sitting with you?” he said.