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Himachal Confedential: Business As Usual

While married women in the state were busy fasting and celebrating Karva Chauth on Saturday,for some of the top women bureaucrats it was another regular day in office.

Written by Express News Service | Published: October 17, 2011 3:56:43 am

Business As Usual

While married women in the state were busy fasting and celebrating Karva Chauth on Saturday,for some of the top women bureaucrats it was another regular day in office. Chief Secretary Rajwant Sandhu was busy in official meetings and clearing files,while Principal Secretary (Tourism) Manisha Nanda,too,was in her office wrapping up her work. Incidentally,Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal’s government has granted holidays to women on Karva Chauth,Bhaiya Dooj and Raksha Bandhan and even allowed free travel on Himachal Road Transport Corporation buses on these days. But then,these top women bureaucrats perhaps believe work is worship.

A Political Mission

When Additional District Magistrate rank official Hridaya Ram threw in his candidature to become a law maker by contesting the bypoll for Renuka Assembly seat,his justification was that he was sacrificing his service,in which he may have retired as the deputy commissioner,to serve the people. Having already put in his papers,this Dalit officer has embarked on his next important mission to secure a BJP seat. But perhaps Hridaya Ram doesn’t know that there can always be a twist in the tale,like when Inspector General of Police A N Sharma quit his post hoping to secure a BJP ticket in the 2007 polls only to be denied. Sharma did a quick retreat and withdrew his resignation. Hridaya Ram will be hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself.

The General’s Speech

With politicians out of favour,it is now the soldiers who are in demand. So,when the annual day for the town’s public and convent schools were held,it was Lt General Rajesh Kochhar,an alumni of the 145-year-old Auckland House School and Chief of Staff of Army Training Command,who was the chief guest. With his audio-visual presentations and eloquence,he did impress the gathering not only at Auckland House and Shimla Public School but also at St Edward’s. Last heard,there are two more school functions lined up for him. Politicians’ loss seems to be soldiers’ gain.

Battle Of Sons

It is a proxy war between the two Congress heavyweights in the state with their sons battling it out on behalf of their fathers. The battle of ballot is for Youth Congress state president and it is going to be between Union Minister Virbhadra Singh’s son Vikramaditya Singh and former minister G S Bali’s son Raghubir Singh. Congress workers supporting Bali have claimed that Raghubir has been active in the youth organisation while Vikramaditya must complete his education before turning his attention to politics. But for Raja Sahib,it has become a prestige issue: “It’s me,my son or both.” Blood is definitely thicker than party loyalty.

In Familiar Role

Mukesh Agnihotri,the journalist-turned MLA of the Congress,is back in a role that he relishes. Having being sidelined by PCC general secretary Kuldeep Rathore from the media department of the state unit,a role that was given to Kuldeep Pathania as the chief spokesman,Agnihotri has managed to squeeze himself into the reconstituted media department. Perhaps,once a scribe always a journalist.

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