Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde,who had on Monday advised against VIPs visits to Uttarakhand given the focus needed on relief and rescue operations,revised his stand on Wednesday saying that conditions there have improved and anyone can visit the state now. Shinde said the advice was for 3-4 days only and there is no problem now. Incidentally,Shindes change of stance came even as Rahul Gandhi was on a visit to Uttarakhand.
Kudos for forces
Tuesdays meeting of the parliamentary consultative committee on defence started on a fiery note with many members questioning the performance of defence public sector units. Towards the end though,the acrimony was gone as members cutting across party lines stood up and told Defence Minister A K Antony that they were very appreciative of the work that the armed forces have done in disaster-struck Uttarakhand. Not only were the members keen to know details of the rescue work,but they also wanted the minister to convey the appreciation of the committee to the armed forces.
Back in action
BJP patriarch L K Advani,who had gone into a sulk after Narendra Modis anointment as partys chief campaigner,has again started taking interest in routine party work. He held a meeting of a party committee on electoral reforms on Wednesday to formulate partys stance on this issue,which does not seem to be on even the governments priority list at present. It got many tongues wagging in the party because this committee had been set up during Nitin Gadkaris stint as BJP president. Gadkari,of late,has emerged as the bridge between Modi-supporters in the BJP establishment and the party patriarch.
On Tuesday,Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal shared the stage with his one-time associates like Nikhil Dey,Devinder Sharma and Arvind Gaur at Jantar Mantar to protest against the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill,2013. While Kejriwal had worked closely with Dey in NCPRI,Sharma and Gaur were his colleagues in the India Against Corruption core committee. Incidentally,Dey was actively involved in one of Rahul Gandhis ambitious initiatives,aam aadmi ka sipahi,which he had started after taking over as AICC general secretary in charge of the Youth Congress.
India is planning to hold a conference of police chiefs from India and the US. The decision was conveyed to Home Ministry during the recently concluded Indo-US strategic talks. MHA has proposed that heads of police forces in metropolitan centres like Delhi,Mumbai,Kolkata,Bangalore and Ahmedabad will be invited to Delhi to meet police chiefs of major cities in US. The Home Ministry also plans to arrange an exhibition of hi-tech security products which will be showcased by the US.