With the new citizenship law having brought out protesters across the country, the BJP has planned a massive campaign targeting each community. While the party is set to organise a national programme to allay fears among Muslims, it has formed a two-member group to “convince” Christians that the new law is not against any particular community living in the country. The party has assigned Tom Vadakkan, a former Congress spokesperson who joined the BJP ahead of Lok Sabha elections, and BJYM national secretary Anoop Kaippalli to meet archbishops, bishops and other community leaders across the country to talk about the CAA. Vadakkan and Kaippalli will visit community leaders and hold small meetings in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kerala and Ranchi from the first week of 2020.
As the trimming of the Railway Board and merger of cadres, as per a recent Cabinet decision, will take some time, there is confusion in some quarters on whether Member posts getting vacant immediately will be filled. Member Staff retires on Tuesday and Vigilance clearance of the next eligible officer was done sometime ago. Now, his service association has written to Piyush Goyal requesting that the eligible officer be posted until the restructuring takes effect. Amid protests from civil servants over the decision, a video is doing the rounds of Railway Board Chairman V K Yadav speaking to employees, asking officers to discuss grievances internally before seeking redress from the PM and airing views on social media. He is seen saying that “all doors are open to everyone” and “officers should trust the organisation”.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet on Monday appointed Umesh Sinha as Deputy Election Commissioner for one year on contract basis. Sinha, a UP-cadre IAS officer of 1986 batch, would have retired at the secretary rank this month. His re-employment on contract basis is unusual since officers on deputation as deputy election commissioner normally do not retire at secretary level (they move on after promotion to this rank). Also, there are few examples of an IAS officer being retained as Deputy Election Commissioner after retirement. Sinha’s re-employment, it is learned, was done at the Commission’s request, given Sinha’s experience in election planning and as he is coordinating the nine working groups that have been asked to submit recommendations based on the experience of conducting the Lok Sabha polls.