Veteran BJP leader Uma Bharti, who could not find a place in the party’s newly constituted team of office-bearers, has written an emotional letter to BJP president J P Nadda. Writing about the upcoming judgment in the Babri Masjid demolition case, which will be pronounced by the CBI court on September 30, Bharti said she would be present in court that day. “I don’t know what the judgment will be, but I will not seek bail on Ayodhya matter,” she wrote, asking Nadda if he would like to retain her in his team in this situation. Bharti also said that she fought for the Ram temple and Ram Rajya.
Diplomat Vikas Swarup’s book Q&A, based on the Kaun Banega Crorepati show, was adapted into an Oscar-winning movie, Slumdog Millionaire. Now, as KBC, hosted by actor Amitabh Bachchan, begins a new season, Swarup — who has been MEA spokesperson and the Indian ambassador to Canada and is now posted as Secretary (west) in the Ministry of External Affairs — will appear on the TV show as an “expert”.
At The Helm
The Defence Ministry has announced a new policy for defence procurement, establishing the procedures the government has to follow in buying weapons, military equipment or platforms. The team to amend the last Defence Procurement Policy 2016 was led by 1988-batch IAS officer Apurva Chandra, who is the Special Secretary and Director General (Acquisition) in the Defence Ministry. It took Chandra and the review committee over a year to finalise the new policy, which got the Defence Acquisition Council’s nod on Monday, just in time before Chandra moves out. This is his last week in the Defence Ministry. He is scheduled to take over as Labour Secretary as the incumbent, Heera Lal Samariya, retires on September 30.
Full Steam Ahead
When it comes to countering a protest or campaigning for their stand, the ruling BJP does not leave any stone unturned. Last two weeks saw intense efforts by the BJP to sell the farm-related laws as government initiatives to help farmers. Now the party has roped in former public servants to assert that the laws “mark a watershed in the liberation of India’s farming community from the shackles of exploitative practices that slow-pedalled their progress”. Thirty-two former civil servants, former finance secretary S Narayan, former banking secretary D K Mittal, former defence secretary G Mohan Kumar, former NMML director Shakti Sinha and a group of former state chief secretaries have signed the two-page statement supporting the “well-meaning efforts of the government to bring succour to the farming community”.
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