August 25, 2015 12:51:01 am
Everyday, at 5.30 pm, Minister of State for Urban Development Babul Supriyo expects a phone call. He puts everything aside, for a few minutes, to attend to the call. This is the time that his daughter, Sharmilee, gets done with her classes at the Jamnabai Narsee School in Mumbai and, according to the doting father, he cannot risk ignoring the call as it would mean a sharp reprimand from the teenager. The only time he is excused is when he is in a meeting with Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu.
The bureaucracy in the capital has been noticing an interesting pattern in some recent high-profile appointments. When Karnal Singh was made the head of the Enforcement Directorate a few days ago, it was the first time that an IPS was appointed to that position. Similarly, the appointment of Ashwani Lohani as Air India CMD is the first time that a Railway officer has occupied the post. Some time ago, K V Chowdary became the first officer from the Indian Revenue Service to be appointed as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner. These positions were mostly occupied by IAS officers in the past. While these developments are said to have made IAS officers nervous, officers of other services are delighted to see new horizons opening up for them.
Kissa Kursi Ka
What’s in a chair? A lot, it seems. In BJP, it symbolises the position one holds. In the main conference hall in the party headquarters, where BJP chief Amit Shah was expected to interact with a small group, an office staffer replaced two of the three special wooden chairs with ordinary office chairs just a few minutes before Shah entered the room. While Shah sat on the remaining wooden chair, a party secretary who was accompanying him took the ordinary chair.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release audio CDs of Ramcharitmanas — Tulsidas’s epic poem — on August 31. These CDs are learnt to have been put together by the All India Radio staff. The programme was slated to be held on September 1, but has now been advanced by a day — Information & Broadcasting Secretary Bimal Julka is set to retire on August 31.
Himanta Biswa Sarma’s switchover to the BJP was not unexpected, but the timing surprised Congress leaders. In fact, on Saturday, Sarma tweeted: “I have campaigned in 3 constituencies in Tiwa council and (am) happy to inform that Congress has won all 3.” The next day, he met Amit Shah and announced his decision to join the BJP.
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