Outgoing Information & Broadcasting Secretary N K Sinha, who retires at the end of the month, hosted a party for the ministry’s officials over the weekend in which he also gave a farewell to the recently ousted minister Smriti Irani. Irani made a brief appearance at Saturday’s event, held at Siri Fort Auditorium. The party — an unusual gesture from the otherwise private and silent Sinha — comes amid reports that many officials of I&B Ministry, and officers of the Indian Information Services, are relieved with Irani leaving the ministry.
In Close Vicinity
After the Supreme Court conveyed its displeasure over the delay in inauguration of the Eastern Peripheral Expressway and asked the National Highways Authority of India to open it by May 31 — failing which, it said, the road would stand open to the public from June 1 — Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Baghpat district on May 27 to inaugurate the project. Modi will also address a gathering there.
The local BJP unit has started preparations to bring workers to make the public meeting a success — it comes a day before by-election in adjoining Kairana Lok Sabha constituency. Kairana votes on May 28.
After news emerged on Sunday that the Railways had proposed to the Culture Ministry that it would not allow any non-vegetarian food to be served on Indian Railway premises on Gandhi Jayanti this year, the next year, and in 2020, in deference to 150th birth anniversary of the Mahatma, the ministry scrambled to explain on Monday that it was just a proposal. Meant to promote vegetarianism, it would be completely voluntary, the Railways Ministry stated. Some internal WhatsApp groups of officers, however, were abuzz with speculation that perhaps the powers that be wanted to avoid a backlash akin to that of the “beef ban” controversy in some states, where it was alleged that the government was trying to dictate what people should eat.