A recent press release from the office of the Gujarat Resident Commissioner at Delhi said Gujarat was not included and none of its destinations had been projected in the flagship Incredible India Campaign run by the union Ministry of Tourism. However,a quick look at the Incredible India portal suggested otherwise with locations like Okha,Jamnagar,Ahmedabad,Porbandar,Rajkot,Somnath,Surat,Vadodara and Dwarka earmarked on it. What Gujarat missed was a spot on the sparkling Incredible India Calendar 2013,launched by Union Minister for Tourism K Chiranjeevi. Also,the tourism department officials have forgotten taking home the third prize for Best State Comprehensive Development of Tourism Awards in March this year that adorns the Facebook page of Gujarat Tourism even now!
The Vadodara City and District Congress might project themselves as a united front ahead of the 2014 elections. The reality,however,seems contradictory. Sources say the infighting has reached a level where Gurudas Kamat was asked to step in and resolve the issue. Kamat,who met partyworkers on Thursday,said the meeting was the first step to identify mistakes from the previous defeat. However,Congress sources say Kamat had to broker peace between the two warring factions,who had individually approached the AICC General Secretary and Gujarat party in-charge for 2014,with a list of complaints against the other. The conflict reached a level when posters came up for a brief period in the city on Wednesday against unit chief Narendra Rawat,supposedly by party rivals. A source says,Kamat was very clear that if they are unable to rise above internal fights,they must simply step aside.
Patels business acumen
If you take an appointment with State Tourism Minister Saurabh Patel,you will get a time only around 6 pm. Recently,Patel revealed the secret behind the timing set for outstation visitors at a tourism and hospitality event at a city hotel. The audience,including heavyweights from the tourism industry,applauded enthusiastically when Patel said,If I meet people during the day they will leave soon after,but if I stretch the meetings to evenings,they will have to stay the night at a city hotel. After all,we have to keep the hotels running to boost the tourism sector! Looks like despite straddling several portfolios,including Energy and Petrochemicals,Labour and Employment,Cottage Industries and Planning and Civil Aviation,when it comes to tourism,this Patel means business.
BJPs quiet move
BJPs biggest poll promise was ambitious projects like urban housing,including slum rehabilitation and affordable housing,for the neo-middle class. But when finalised,they were announced through press notes. Last week,the urban development department had finalised the projects but maintained the Chief Ministers Office would make the announcement. The buzz was that urban development minister Anandi Patel would address a press meet on last Wednesday. However,not just the press conference,the state government also did away with the regular cabinet briefing and the projects were announced through press notes. This time,the government had a chance to save itself from counter questions by the media,especially when its earlier projects and policies on slum rehabilitation and affordable housing failed to take off.
The saffron touch
The main gate of Swarnim Sankul-I,CM Narendra Modis office,finally has a saffron hue. Eight metal carvings in saffron a farmer,a tribal,a worker and woman are being placed just above the gate. Also,a statue of Lord Buddha,yet to be unveiled, has been placed at the reception. Sources said since the office was inaugurated in a hurry,as Modi wanted to shift during the auspicious Navratra,many areas still required finishing touches.