Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, who is unwell and is suspected to have lung cancer, has flown to US for investigation and treatment. Deputy PM Bamdev Gautam of the Communist Party of Nepal -Unified Marxist Leninist is the acting PM in his absence. Given that Koirala’s return dates are not fixed yet and will depend on the advice of doctors, the Government of India may be put in a quandary with PM Narendra Modi tentatively expected to visit Kathmandu in early August. However, the situation may not arrive since Koirala has made it known to interlocutors that he would try his best to be back by then and he does not want to miss the opportunity of welcoming Modi.
RESTORING THE TEMPLE
With the Kedarnath temple committee expressing unhappiness with the quality of restoration work being conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Centre has swung into action. It is learnt that the Cabinet Secretariat has sought a status report on ASI’s work at the temple. Meanwhile, ASI and Culture Ministry officials are expected to fly to the hill state and visit Kedarnath within the next two days to take stock of the situation. A team from IIT-Madras has already reached there to conduct structural studies at the temple site and a GSI recommendation on restoring Mandakini river’s natural course is also being acted upon.
I&B Ministry it seems is room hunting in earnest after two successive fires. After sending the Press Information Bureau into a tizzy Monday by inspecting their rooms in the first floor of Shastri Bhawan, I&B Minister Prakash Javdekar and secretary Bimal Julka Tuesday inspected rooms in the National Media Centre. They opened locked doors to check out whether the rooms were spacious enough. Looks like having invited PIB’s resistance, the ministry is looking beyond Shastri Bhawan now.
WIELDING THE TECH
Alarmed by the rising incidents of sexual violence in different parts of the country, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has asked his ministry to establish video link with states, especially the police chiefs. Singh, following in the footsteps of PM Narendra Modi, has asked the officers in the ministry to use modern tools of communication. The first video conference with the states and the UTs will be held Wednesday which is likely to be attended by Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami. The recent incidents of sexual violence in Uttar Pradesh and ways to curb such cases is likely to be discussed during the conference.