Skipping Parliament for a day,senior BJP leader LK Advani flew down to Mumbai with his wife and daughter to spend some time with Chandrakanta Goyal,mother of BJP treasurer Piyush Goyal,on her 80th birthday. Advani has had a long relationship with Piyushs father,the late Ved Prakash Goyal,who was treasurer of the BJP for a long time including when Advani was party president. Chandrakanta herself has been a three-time MLA from Maharashtra. Advanis visit was a quiet affair as a larger,high profile birthday bash for her was held by Piyush three days back where the entire BJP brass,including party president Nitin Gadkari and leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley,were present.
In a one of its kind deal,the Health Ministry has signed a Rs 162 crore agreement with Prasar Bharati for a dedicated 30-minute programme on health called Swasth Bharat (Healthy India) five days a week from April 28. To be telecast from 30 Doordarshan kendras and 28 AIR stations across the country,this is the first time that instead of airing advertisements,a ministry has bought air time to broadcast a full programme of its choice.
WITH PPP initiatives under national highways projects yielding good returns,the Roads and Surface Transport Ministry had decided to create a post of Member (PPP) in NHAI sometime back. The ministry had initiated the process of finding a suitable candidate a few months ago but has not got one till now. A committee under the Cabinet Secretary is learnt to have suggested a few names to Road Transport Minister C P Joshi,but he turned them down. The minister has now directed the NHAI to put in advertisements to get a suitable candidate.
A FALLOUT of the Air India controversy on the airlines claim to have the right of first rejection has been an exceptional instruction issued by Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh. He has passed a written order that all notes/proposals/files to be put up before him for his approval and consideration should bear the stamps of the the officials sending them,including Secretary and Joint Secretary. The practice till now has been to put signatures only. Having found no such rule in the manual of office procedure,the officials are at wits end wondering how to comply with the latest ministerial diktat.
ARMY chief V K Singh is scheduled to meet CBI officials on Friday in connection with the bribery allegation raised by him in a recent interview. Two days later,he will be before the CBI officials again,but this time not to answer any queries. Gen Singh is one of the guests invited for the CBI Day dinner at CBI director Amar Pratap Singhs residence on April 1.