Health watch

The most prominent face on the party’s campaign posters,which highlight the sacrifices of Congress leaders who were killed by Naxals.

Published: November 19, 2013 3:14 am

Health watch

When commissioning the INS Vikramaditya in Russia’s cold northern city of Severodvinsk on Saturday,Defence Minister A K Antony was concerned about his health,having undergone two operations and spent a month in hospital. In fact,before going to Russia,he took some advice and tips from the Armed Forces doctors who had operated on him. On Saturday afternoon,after the function was over,he conveyed the message to the doctors that all had gone ahead well.

Back to Indira

While the BJP has penetrated the tribal regions of Bastar and Surguja — traditional Congress strongholds since the days of Indira Gandhi — the Congress appear to be leaning on the late prime minister to recapture its base. The most prominent face on the party’s campaign posters,which highlight the sacrifices of Congress leaders who were killed by Naxals earlier this year,is that of Indira Gandhi. It remains to be seen whether the tactic works or not.

Criticism within

A former minister and special invitee to the Congress Working Committee,Anil Shastri,is regularly taking potshots at many of his colleagues on Twitter. After chiding Jairam Ramesh for reportedly saying that Rahul Gandhi’s focus on building the Congress for the long term was frustrating since elections are round the corner,Shastri has said that the government should probe foreign funding of all political parties,not just the Aam Aadmi Party. The AAP had earlier demanded that the Congress and BJP’s sources of funding should be probed. Referring to differing views of P Chidambaram and Sushil Kumar Shinde on whether Narendra Modi is a challenge to the Congress,Shastri tweeted,“Govt must be clear what line to take”.

Risk factor

When the home ministry asked the states to send their forces to help the CRPF and the Chattisgarh Police during the Assembly elections in the Maoist-hit state,only two states did not respond. Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh expressed their inability to spare their police forces. While no official reason was cited by the Tamil Nadu government,sources said the high risk involved may have been a factor. UP did not send its forces due to more pressing needs at home — the Muzaffarnagar riots being one. The TN government,however,has agreed to send its forces for the elections in Madhya Pradesh.

Duranto derailed

The Railways has taken one more step towards phasing out the Duronto brand of trains,which is regarded as former Rail Minister Mamata Banerjee’s legacy. It has decided to convert as many as six Durontos into normal Janshatabdis,Shatabdis and AC superfast express trains. Earlier,the Railways had truncated the service of on-board doctors and raised the cheaper fares to be at par with Rajdhanis,taking away two of the USPs associated with the Durantos. A change in the train’s colour scheme,which was approved by Mamata herself,is also being considered.

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