Trinamool Congress MPs are back in the capital after the Monsoon Session washout. The party is holding a mock Parliament at the Constitution Club on Wednesday to discuss issues that could not be taken up. With Lok Sabha MP Ratna De Nag as Speaker and other MPs playing the roles of various cabinet ministers, the two-hour exercise is a must for party MPs. After all, it is the brainchild of party supremo Mamata Banerjee. The chair of the prime minister will be kept vacant.
Amarinder Singh did not attend the Monsoon Session of Parliament even for a day. In the last one month, however, he made two trips to Delhi to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi to press for the removal of Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa. He wanted the party leadership to name him or a person of his choice as Bajwa’s successor. Amid indications that his demand was not being accepted fully, the Captain did not turn up for the CWC meeting on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Bajwa is camping in Delhi in a last ditch attempt to save his job. Among the other absentees were Digvijaya Singh, who is in the US, and Ajit Jogi. Former External Affairs Minister S M Krishna walked in an hour late.
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Ever since his return after his leave of absence, Rahul Gandhi has focused on increasing his visibility. He has made speeches in Parliament, gone on padayatras and is meeting more leaders. So what is next? Those close to him say an attempt to reach out to the media is in the pipeline. Rahul is expected to meet journalists in batches, and give interviews. Given the fact that his first television interview in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections did not go as expected, his team is said to be very cautious this time. All this will perhaps happen after the Bihar elections. Rahul is said to be planning to address a dozen rallies in the state, starting from Champaran on September 19.
Australian Defence Minister Kevin Andrews, who had a packed schedule during his visit including bilateral meetings with his counterpart Manohar Parrikar, concluded his visit with a bicycle trip in the Lutyens Bungalow Zone. A bicycle enthusiast, Andrews is learnt to have enjoyed his ride in the early morning hours, along with embassy officials.
One Man, Many Posts
There is no Secretary-level post in the Ministry of Science and Technology or the Ministry of Earth Sciences that K Vijayraghavan has not held charge of. Vijayraghavan, Secretary in the Department of Biotechnology, has been given additional charge of every post that has fallen vacant in the last two years. He held additional charge of Secretary, Department of Science and Technology; Secretary, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research; and Director General, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). When the post of Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, fell vacant at the end of August due to the retirement of Shailesh Nayak, it was only natural that Vijayraghavan was given the additional charge.