It has been more than a month since the Congress was routed in the Lok Sabha elections, but Mani Shankar Aiyar continues to draw the ire of party workers for his ‘Narendra Modi-can-sell-tea-at-AICC’ jibe. At a brain storming session of NSUI Monday, some of the delegates listed Aiyar’s remark as one of those ill-timed and unnecessary statements that sullied the Congress’s image leading to its downfall. Aiyar has already faced flak from several Congressmen for his controversial remarks about Modi who used it to his advantage in the poll campaign.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has initiated the process of filling up three important posts lying vacant for the past several months now. The most important post up for grabs in MHA is that of Special Secretary (Internal Security) vacant for the past 10 months. Home Minister Rajnath Singh is learnt to have enquired about the vacancies and is keen to appoint new names soon. The other two vacant posts are those of additional secretaries — Naxal Management and Centre-State.
MPs who paid money from their MPLADS funds to construct minor passenger amenities at stations had been inaugurating those facilities or were getting chief ministers to inaugurate them all these years at the Railways’s expense because the department had to organise those functions. Recently, it was pointed out that often the money spent by the Railways for the inaugural functions was more than what the MPs contributed to the facilities. So, it has been decided as a policy that the opening of facilities will not have any inaugural ceremony. At best, a plaque will be allowed to be installed bearing the name of the MP who contributed. Glow signboards will not be allowed and it must be installed at a place where it does not interfere with passenger movements.
Use to cribbing about boredom and lack of work during the second half of the UPA II regime, bureaucrats were happy to see a spurt in activities in the government with Prime Minister Narendra Modi turning out to be a hard taskmaster. They have only one complaint though, as a senior bureaucrat put it: “Our five-day week has gone for a six.”