Delhi Undergroundhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/delhi-underground-179/

Delhi Underground

About two weeks since Health Minister J P Nadda took over, the website of the health ministry has been updated with his pictures

At Khan Market on Sunday. (Source: Express photo by Praveen Khanna)
At Khan Market on Sunday. (Source: Express photo by Praveen Khanna)

Panditji; Oh no, Indiraji
At a seminar on ‘secularism, anti-communalism and non-violence’ on National Integration Day — observed on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi — former union minister Arif Mohammed Khan mixed up the birthdays of Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. As he started his address to young bureaucrats, the erstwhile Congressman said they must remember first prime minister of India on National Integration Day as it falls on his birth anniversary. Before Khan could continue, someone prompted to tell him that it was, in fact, Indira Gandhi’s birthday on November 19. “Achcha, Panditji ka nahi hai? Indiraji ka hai?” Khan said and quickly added, “Panditji ka toh 14 ko hota hai.”

Not Iqbal’s fault
Shoaib Iqbal, the five-time MLA from Matia Mahal, on Wednesday joined the Congress. This being the fourth party Iqbal has joined since he entered politics, reporters questioned him on jumping ship. Iqbal replied it wasn’t his fault that he constantly shifted loyalties as “parties keep breaking”.

Plateful of birthdays
After AICC general secretary Shakeel Ahmed submitted his “leave application” to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, he said he wasn’t sure if his letter had been accepted. A senior leader explained Ahmed’s dilemma. “The Congress high command has a lot on its plate. Too many birthdays and anniversaries. Work on operational aspects will begin later,” the leader said.

No room for Mukhi
As the Assembly polls approach, a Generational shift is becoming evident in the Delhi BJP. Senior leader Jagdish Mukhi was not offered a seat at an event to induct AAP leader M S Dhir into the party. Those present at the event said he was told that all seats were occupied. For Mukhi, this came as a shock as he is the senior-most among all MLAs of the recently dissolved Assembly. He has also served as leader of opposition.

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AAP’s posh address
When the Aam Aadmi Party announced that they were going to use a new place for media interactions, many in Delhi circles were surprised at the address. The large house is located at 173, North Avenue, among homes exclusively meant for Members of Parliament. Tired of the constant questions of who the house belonged to and how they were using it in this way, the party has now put up a large board outside, which says, “Allotted to Aam Aadmi Party (by) MP Dharamvir Gandhi.”

Seeing red at kerbside
As kerbs in New Delhi area being painted saffron and green, the decision has raised many eyebrows. Incidentally, one MP associated with the NDMC shot off letters to not just the chairman but also the Delhi Police Commissioner, expressing how the decision violated road safety norms. While NDMC officials refuted claims that their decision was illegal, the MP’s “behaviour” has irked them further. “How can a member complain against the council? She should have raised the issue at one of the several meetings. This project has been in the offing since last year.”

Warm treatment
At the press conference on Friday, M S Dhir’s joining the BJP, a saffron party worker was heard chuckling, “This winters, Arvind Kejriwal will not need his monkey caps and mufflers. Since senior leaders from AAP are embracing BJP and Modi’s ideology, he must already be suffering a lot of heart-burn. That will keep him warm.”

Punctuality problem
A special court which started examining the prosecution witnesses in a high-profile corruption case told all the accused to be present during examination. The special judge also made a point that they should be present 10 minutes before the scheduled time. This comes after an accused in the case was issued a non-bailable warrant by the court as the counsel for the accused was also not present to move an application for non-appearance. The court, however, withdrew the NBW after the counsel appeared later in the day.

A long changeover
About two weeks since Health Minister J P Nadda took over, the website of the health ministry has been updated with his pictures of formally taking over, inaugurating the health pavilion at the India International Trade fair and Attending a CRPF blood donation camp, among others. Subsequent pictures in the swipe photo panel of the website still show former health minister Harsh Vardhan, who officials have described was “particular” about his work being recorded. “Some photos have been changed but it is impossible to find as many pictures. We are just changing the captions,” an official said.