As Vice President Hamid Ansari boarded a flight to China on Thursday, an unusual change was noticed by security agencies. For the first time, Chinese authorities sent two officials from its embassy in New Delhi to see him off at the airport. Incidentally, Chinese premier Li Keqiang was among the first foreign leaders to call Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he took charge last month.
MISSING THE BUS?
Gujarat’s resident commissioner in the national capital Bharat Lal, who was perceived to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was once tipped to be among the first to join the PMO after Modi took over. He was in the reckoning for the post of private secretary to the Prime Minister. As the new regime completed one month on Thursday, there was no clarity yet about Lal’s role in the PMO. With Gujarat cadre IAS officer Rajeev Topno already appointed one of the PSes and another PS’ post — currently held by Vikram Misri who is likely to move to Madrid soon —set to go to another IFS officer, Lal, a Forest Service officer, does not seem to stand a chance for this slot. Grapevine has it that Lal became a victim of rivalry between different services. He may, however, still end up in the PMO as Joint Secretary.
NOT LEAVING YET
The government has finalised allotment of bungalows to the new ministers but none of them have been able to shift as they are still occupied by their predecessors. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has been allotted a house on 17, Akbar Road that was previously occupied by Chiranjeevi. And Defence Minister Arun Jaitley has got 2 Krishna Menon that is still occupied by A K Antony.
Equal opportunities Commission, an idea first mooted in the Sachar Committee report, is all set to go to the cabinet for the second time. It was among the last decisions taken by the UPA cabinet before Lok Sabha elections were announced but the minority ministry has circulated the note afresh now seeking comments from ministries as the commission had not become operational and had stayed only on paper.