Former chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has been in the political wilderness ever since the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Candidates of his Jai Samaikyandhra Party, which he had floated after resigning as CM of Andhra and from the Congress, lost deposits everywhere. He has been trying hard to make a political comeback and mulling joining the BJP and has been meeting local BJP leaders. But there has not been much headway so far. However, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel as one gets to hear that the BJP’s Andhra leadership is preparing to broach the topic of his entry with the party’s central leaders in the coming days.
THE black money probe is set to get a boost with K V Chowdary, the outgoing chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, being asked to assist the Special Investigating Team (SIT). Chowdary retires this month-end and orders for appointing him as Adviser in the Department of Revenue (DoR) have been issued. The advantage is that the HSBC cases, for instance, were investigated by Chowdary in Delhi when he was Director General (Investigations) and all documentation and lists were handed over to the SIT under his watch as CBDT Chairman.
THE New Delhi-based think tank, Vivekananada International Foundation, made its debut splash in the strategic affairs circuit on Thursday, with British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon delivering a lecture. This is the first high-profile event hosted by the VIF since the Narendra Modi government came to power. VIF has sent some of its top functionaries and experts like Ajit K Doval, Nripendra Mishra and A Surya Prakash to the Modi government, and has gained heft.
THE BJP has made its first political appointment in the Ministry of External Affairs. Lokesh Chandra, an 87-year-old scholar who has been a Rajya Sabha member twice, has been named as the next president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). Chandra, who has earlier served as the head of Indian Council for Historical Research and was Rajya Sabha member between 1974 and 1986, will take over from Karan Singh. Interestingly, Chandra knows 15 languages, including Hindi, Sanskrit, Pali, Avesta, Old Persian, Japanese, Mandarin, Tibetan, Mongolian, Indonesian, Greek, Latin, German, French and Russian.