Change of guard

Change of guard

Sources added that at least one letter was sent to the Centre opposing the appointment.

I H Syed replacing Pankaj Champaneri as the Assistant Solicitor General of Gujarat High Court has upset some lawyers considered close to the Congress-led Central government. Sources said that the appointment was followed by resignations by some lawyers,who were on the list of Standing Counsels for the Central government in the HC,apparently to convey their unhappiness to the top bosses. Sources added that at least one letter was sent to the Centre opposing the appointment. However,there were some neutral lawyers who justified Syed’s appointment. “He has been appearing in some highly contested matters while representing people like Satish Verma,Sanjiv Bhatt,Kuldip Sharma and Pradip Sharma. He has less experience on civil matters,but he has his heart at the right place and should be able to manage. He definitely deserves the post,” said one lawyer.

New appointments

With Chief Minister Narendra Modi busy travelling outside the state frequently to address public meetings and rallies in the run up to the 2014 general elections,he is likely to expand the Cabinet and appoint senior leaders to various posts in different boards and corporations. Currently,there are 16 ministers,seven of them Cabinet rank and nine junior,with all of them holding several portfolios. The Chief Minister has 11 departments under him and it would not be possible for him to do justice to each one of them after he gets busy with election campaigns. Party sources said that as per the strength of MLAs in the House,at least 11 more ministers could be appointed. Meanwhile,party leaders have begun preparing a list of posts in governments departments that are lying vacant and are usually filled through political appointments.

No homecoming for Keshubhai

There was a speculation in the political circles recently that former CM and president of Gujarat Parivartan Party Keshubhai Patel was about to return to his parent party,the BJP. The speculation followed Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Patel to seek his blessing on his (Modi’s) birthday. Another reason was Patel not walking out of the monsoon session of the Assembly last week when all opposition legislators staged a walkout after suspension of all Congress MLAs for two days. But GPP general secretary Gordhan Zadaphia has clarified that there’s no move on the part of the octogenarian leader to go back to the BJP.