Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharifs brother Shahbaz Sharif,who is Punjab Chief Minister in Pakistan,is going to be in India for an India-Pakistan inter-Punjab Kabaddi match later this week,being organised by the Punjab government. South Block has organised a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. While Singhs Pakistan visit plans seem to have been put on the backburner for now,this seems to be the best way to engage with the neighbour.
In the Congress,it is being called a hat-trick performance. AICC general secretary Mohan Prakash was once again in charge of a state (Madhya Pradesh) where the party was defeated. Prakash had chaired the AICC screening committee which selected candidates for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections last year. The partys dismal performance in UP had drawn scathing criticism. He was also in-charge of Gujarat,where the Congress suffered its third consecutive defeat. However,all this is unlikely to affect the former socialist leaders clout in the party,given Rahul Gandhis fondness for him.
In the spotlight
The Aam Aadmi Party led by Arvind Kejriwal may have made an impressive debut in Delhi,but fellow activists from his RTI days remain unconvinced. On Monday,as the Association of Democratic Reforms announced its report card for the newly-elected Delhi MLAs,RTI activist Subhash Aggarwal,while calling for the right to reject,said Kejriwal may be good,but the same could not be said for all members of his party. He had to be reminded by ADR founder member Jagdeep Chokhar that the platform was not to be used to talk about individual political parties. Dev Ashish Bhattacharya,who was also Kejriwals fellow RTI activist,has sent out mass SMSes asking whether Kejriwals ambitions would get the better of his political party,and whether AAP would accept support from the Congress.
Every year,the President is the chief guest at three functions of the Armed Forces. These are the at home receptions hosted by the service chiefs on the annual days of the force. While in the past,the President would remain at the functions for nearly an hour,the duration of his stay has now apparently been cut short to just over half-an-hour. For the past two at home functions of the Navy and Air Force,President Pranab Mukherjee left after 30 minutes. In fact,this has been appreciated by officers and bureaucrats alike,as it prevents the annual functions from going on for hours.
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