SAMAJWADI Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav recently told his partymen to start preparing for Lok Sabha elections and appointed observers in each constituency to assess the partys chances within a month. However,just a day later the party decided against sending an observer to Rae Bareli,the constituency of Sonia Gandhi,from where the SP did not field its candidate in the 2009 elections. While no reason was attributed,the SP is clearly in an appeasement mode with the Congress,which it had offended by initially siding with Mamata Banerjee in opposing Pranab Mukherjees presidential candidature. It had retracted from that position immediately,but apparently more needs to be done to increase the bonhomie between the two parties.
AFTER his rather tumultuous stint as the CEO of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee,Jarnail Singh is all set to return to Manipur,the state he has served for many years. Almost a year after the Commonwealth Games,the OC is yet to wrap up its work and Singh,a retired Manipur cadre IAS officer,continues as its CEO. He is now learnt to have accepted an offer to serve as advisor to the Manipur Chief Minister. He will advise the CM on power and infrastructure.
DESPITE opposition from the CBI,a joint court has been set up in Ranchi to hear cases by both the Enforcement Directorate as well as the CBI against former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda. The two agencies are conducting their investigations from Delhi but later it was felt that a court needed to be established in Ranchi itself to expedite the trial. The CBI was initially against setting up a court which would also hear ED cases,arguing that it would delay the trial into the cases investigated by the CBI,but it was overruled in this matter.
WHILE the Trinamool Congress is yet to reveal its cards on the vice-presidential election,the UPA seems assured of support for its candidate from another important ally,the DMK. The Tamil party has no objections to giving a second term to incumbent Hamid Ansari,whose name is doing the rounds from the UPA side as of now. But strangely,the CPI is in a dilemma on whether or not to support Ansaris candidature. It has already decided to abstain in the presidential election and may do the same for the vice-presidential poll as well. Incidentally,Ansari was the Lefts candidate when he became the Vice-President five years ago. But at that time,the Left was the most important ally of the UPA-I government. The situation has changed and so have the decisions of political parties.
THE Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has decided to audit new trains launched in the past three or four years to see if proper feasibility studies were done regarding financial returns to the Railways and their real utility to passengers. While CAG officials insist that the audit does not target any particular ministers tenure,it so happens that a bulk of the trains that will be put under the scanner during this exercise were launched during Mamata Banerjees tenure and a majority of these trains were for West Bengal. The audit,whose contours have not been finalised yet,will prepare a draft report in a few months and ask the Railway Ministry for comments. The ministry maintains that the audit is a routine exercise and nothing more should be read into it.