Remembering past

Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma sidestepped his over three decades of anti-Congress politics to join the party ahead of last elections

Written by Express News Service | Published: May 31, 2013 12:41 am

Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma sidestepped his over three decades of anti-Congress politics to join the party ahead of last elections but his old loyalty still seems to be flickering. On Wednesday,the Steel Ministry issued large advertisements in newspapers to mark the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh,one of the political stalwarts Verma looked up to during his early days in politics. No other ministry deemed it necessary to remember the former PM. Not even the Civil Aviation Ministry which is under his son Ajit Singh.

RECOGNITION PROBLEM

THE function for the launch of UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children report 2013 started almost 30 minutes late as UNICEF officials waited for Secretary (Disability Affairs) Stuti Kakkar to join. Calls were made to her office and the routine response of “Madam’s left” prolonged the wait till one of them called Kakkar’s cellphone. It was only then the organisers realised Kakkar had been sitting in the hall,a few seats away from UNICEF India representative Louis-Georges Arsenault. Trouble was,nobody recognised her.

OBJECTION OVERRULED

BEHIND the launch of a programme to induct young volunteer guides for the National Museum is a strong tug-of-war between two senior officials of the Culture Ministry. The launch,by Culture Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch,happened in the absence of V Venu,a joint secretary who conceived and nurtured the concept and who is currently on leave. The man handling his charge in his absence,Pramod Kumar Jain,another joint secretary ,is learnt to have decided to go ahead with the inauguration despite the fact that Venu is to join shortly. When he learnt about it,an incensed Venu wrote to the minister’s office,saying the programme was at a “premature and half-baked stage” and that launching it at this stage might “invite criticism and adverse publicity”. Venu also noted that he had “personally” worked on this initiative for the last three months. “I cannot understand why MY (emphasis original) project is being inaugurated in this hasty manner,” he wrote. For now,his objections seem to have been overlooked.

PARTING GIFT

ON his visit to Thailand,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh brought a sapling of the Bodhi Tree from Bodh Gaya for the ailing King of Thailand. He was to visit King Bhumibol Adulyadej at his hospital,to hand over the sapling from the tree under which Lord Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment. However,the King’s health did not show the improvement that would have allowed him to meet visitors. The courtesy call had to be cancelled. Thus,Singh ended up giving the sapling to Thailand PM Yingluck Shinawatra.

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