Wiser by experience

Krishnamurthy has personal experience of the high-handed ways of the CBI since he was once a victim.

Written by Coomi Kapoor | Published: November 10, 2013 4:32:34 am

Krishnamurthy has personal experience of the high-handed ways of the CBI since he was once a victim.

V Krishnamurthy,the Chairman of National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council,with the rank of a Cabinet minister,recently wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh complaining about the functioning of the CBI. The PM has taken serious note of Krishnamurthy’s letter and referred his suggestions for re-organising the CBI to the Ministry of Personnel. Krishnamurthy has personal experience of the high-handed ways of the CBI since he was once a victim. During Narasimha Rao’s regime,the CBI arrested him in connection with the Harshad Mehta share scam. He stayed in jail for many days,but was eventually discharged by the courts as no case was made out against him. The former industries secretary,who has headed three PSUs and has been awarded the Padma Shri,Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan,believes the agency has not mended its ways.

Still unoccupied

Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan was unofficially inaugurated more than two years ago by then foreign secretary Nirupama Rao as the new headquarters of the Indian Foreign Service. With a built-up area of nearly 60,000 sq m and three separate,inter-connected blocks,the building was meant to house a majority of the foreign office staff,including those located at Akbar Road and Shastri Bhavan. But the sprawling sandstone complex on Janpath remains largely unoccupied. Senior diplomats sitting in South Block are reluctant to move from their prestigious perches,sandwiched between the PMO and the Defence Ministry. To make use of the spacious seven-acre compound,Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh recently held a press conference there.

Modi 1,Nitish 0

One of the victims of the serial blasts in Patna on October 27 was a Kurmi from Nalanda,the caste and constituency of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. When Narendra Modi arrived at the deceased’s village to condole with the family,he reportedly found that instructions had gone out to villagers to stay inside their homes during the BJP prime ministerial nominee’s visit. Only 17 relatives of the victim were permitted to meet Modi. One of the relatives shouted slogans against Nitish and in favour of the Gujarat CM. Then people from surrounding villages banded together to protest against police’s action. Eventually,a crowd of more than 2,500 people collected to catch a glimpse of Modi.

Minority choice

The tenure of journalist Vinod Sharma as a member of the Minorities Commission has expired and the government has substituted him with Captain Praveen Davar,the secretary of the ex-servicemen’s wing of the AICC. Davar is a figure from the past who is best known for having taken over control of the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Trust from Maneka Gandhi. Serious thought does not seem to go into making appointments to the Minorities Commission. The posts are viewed as sops for party loyalists.

Besting his rival

B S Yeddyurappa realised that if his party,the Karnataka Janatha Pasksha,merged with the BJP,his followers would be denied key posts within the state unit by Ananth Kumar,his old foe. After talking with Rajnath Singh and Subramanian Swamy,Yeddyurappa came up with a proposal to beat his detractors. He announced that his party,which got 10 per cent of the vote in this year’s Karnataka Assembly elections,would like to be part of the NDA and support Modi for prime minister,but would not merge with the BJP. Yeddyurappa clearly does not consider L K Advani as one of his well-wishers since he addressed the veteran leader by the formal term of ‘sir’ in the letter,copies of which were sent to a host of BJP leaders. Incidentally,a question mark still hangs over whether Ananth Kumar,a five-time MP from South Bangalore,will contest again from here considering the BJP’s poor performance in Bangalore in the Assembly polls. There is talk of the Congress fielding UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani from the constituency and Kumar is reportedly contemplating switching to Hubli.

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