Brothers in arms

Guess who was there to assist Bihar CM Nitish Kumar when he landed in Mumbai in the backdrop of MNS chief Raj Thackeray’s tough talk about his visit

Written by Express News Service | Published: April 17, 2012 2:56 am

Guess who was there to assist Bihar CM Nitish Kumar when he landed in Mumbai in the backdrop of MNS chief Raj Thackeray’s tough talk about his visit. It was none other than Maharashtra CM Prithiviraj Chavan. While the MNS chief had relented by the time Kumar landed in Mumbai,the Maharashtra CM had made elaborate security arrangement for his Bihar counterpart. Kumar later thanked Chavan and even went to his house for tea.

Speech politics

Going by the rather short speech delivered by the new Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister during the CMs’ Conference on Internal Security,many would deduce that Akhilesh Yadav strongly believes in the merits of brevity. It is,however,the political compulsions that determined the length and substance of his speech,suggest insiders.

Having trounced the Mayawati-led BSP in the Assembly polls to snatch power at Lucknow,Akhilesh was hardly interested in showing off all the good work done by the state administration under his predecessor and bete noir Mayawati. Understandably,he chose instead to focus on the state’s list of demands to the Centre.

Jaya’s admirers

AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s strong opposition to the Congress-led central government has won her ready support from non-UPA chief ministers — something that will certainly not earn her brownie points from the UPA. That,however,has not come in the way of her winning an admirer from the opposition camp. Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh seems to hold high regard for the accounting and auditing format of drinking water schemes of Jayalalithaa-ruled Tamil Nadu. Ramesh has decided to insist that all state governments,including those ruled by the Congress,should try to follow the state’s accounting and auditing mechanism.

PM’s Man on Mission

As the Centre prepares to have a fresh look at the AFSPA’s reach and range in J&K,it will rely considerably on T K Nair’s report on the state. The advisor to the Prime Minister only recently wound up a tour of the state assessing its security situation. He also submitted a report on his assessments to the PM. Nair,in fact,is fast becoming the PM’s man on missions. Nair had earlier this year also done a round of Naxal-affected areas stopping by at Jharkhand amongst other states. He even went deep into the Northeast to assess implementation of programmes for the tribals.

Thomas Vs Pawar

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Food Minister K V Thomas may be sharing the same office building — Krishi Bhavan — but they are hardly on the same page on any issue. They have earlier crossed swords on sundry issues from foodgrains export to onion export,food security Bill,sugar exports and so on. This time,however,they have locked horns over the interpretation of the phrase “equity and transparency”. The phrase has found its way in the minutes of the EGoM meeting on food related issues held on March 26. These minutes direct the Food Ministry to allow further exports of 10 lakh tonnes of sugar while maintaining “equity and transparency”. While Thomas has interpreted this as maintaining status quo,Pawar’s understanding of the same is entirely different. The latter’s interpretation is that the very policy he had formulated two years back,should be revisited to expedite exports. Needless to say,the divergent views have sparked off yet another tug-of-war between the two UPA ministers and it is left to EGoM to sort out the brewing battle.

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