Jagdambika Pal, who recently quit the Congress to join the BJP, had managed the shift with great timing. While still in the Congress, he managed to get the HRD Ministry to announce a new Kendriya Vidyalaya in his constituency Domariyaganj in Uttar Pradesh, one of the last decisions taken by the UPA II Cabinet. Given the timing of his shift to the BJP, Pal has left the government no chance to withdraw the announcement.
EVEN as the BJP witnesses what a witty leader described as a tussle between would-be-Prime Minister and would-have-been-Prime Minister, it has brought little cheer to the Congress camp. As per internal surveys commissioned by the ruling party, the BJP is estimated to secure “up to 180 seats” as against its own tally of 120 seats. Although the Left’s initiative to prop up a third front did not take off, Congress strategists believe they may still have “some chance” of playing a role in the formation of the next government if the BJP’s numbers were to be below 180 as indicated by its surveys. Not many in the ruling camp seem to share this optimism though.
TOP bureaucrats these days are busy compiling a report for the next government to be formed in May after the elections. Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth has asked all the central ministries to draw up a list of important schemes and other matters on which a decision needs to be taken in three months. Seth, who will be presenting the report card of the government before the next government, has also set a deadline of March 25 for all the secretaries to reply. He has also sought the details of the matters on which a cabinet decision is required so that it can be presented as soon as the first meeting of cabinet is convened.
A NEW entrant into the political field, actress Gul Panag, has already won some praise from the more experienced J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. Panag, who is the AAP candidate from Chandigarh and is active on social networks, has been liberally retweeting the posts of an account that apparently belongs to her BJP opponent Kirron Kher. This has got Panag a mention in Omar’s Twitter timeline. “Now if only Mehbooba Mufti would RT me the way @GulPanag is RT’ing @KirronKherBJP it would make for a much better political environment :-),” Abdullah tweeted on Thursday.