Shoot from the Lip

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal was just about to board the flight to New Delhi last week — happy and content at having hogged TV headlines with his Governor’s Rule remark in Kanpur — when his phone rang

Written by Express News Service | Published:February 27, 2012 3:38 am

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal was just about to board the flight to New Delhi last week — happy and content at having hogged TV headlines with his Governor’s Rule remark in Kanpur — when his phone rang. The call contained rebuke and curt instructions from party headquarters to retract his statement. The first thing,therefore,that the headline-hunting minister did after landing in New Delhi was to deny his remarks,saying he had merely talked about constitutional provisions. Within a couple of days though,Jaiswal found a way to cock a snook at his senior colleagues in the party as he announced that Rahul Gandhi could become the Prime Minister anytime he wants. He knew there would be no phone calls this time.

Goal Scoring

The Indian women’s hockey team had a high-profile spectator cheering them from the stands as they took on South Africa in the Olympic qualifiers. With the team fighting for a berth in the London Olympics,Ajay Maken was doing his best to project the image of a concerned Sports Minister. He egged on the team enthusiastically and tried to keep the world informed about the match with regular feeds on his Twitter profile. He even posted a photo of himself waving the Tricolour when India sored a goal. The team missed its chance to make it to the Olympics though. It remains to be seen whether Maken’s efforts scored any goals for his image.

Marketing Anna

The public response to it may be waning but the Indian Against Corruption (IAC) team is leaving no stone unturned to market its brand. At the World Book Fair at Pragati Maidan,Arvind Kejriwal’s Public Cause Research Foundation has also set up a pavilion. It is showcasing books,photographs,CDs and DVDs related to Anna Hazare and his anti-corruption movement. Visitors to the stall are also being encouraged to support the movement and a newly launched IAC membership card can be obtained by anyone who is interested.

Moving On

The National Green Tribunal that was set up in October 2010 to settle environment-related disputes,is certainly not offering job satisfaction to its members. Within a year of joining,at least two members,including the chairperson,Justice L S Panta — a retired judge of Supreme Court — have moved to greener pastures. While Justice Panta was appointed the Lokayukta in his home state of Himachal Pradesh,former environment secretary Vijai Sharma,also a member of NGT,is all set to become an Information Commissioner at the Central Information Commission.

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