National Conference (NC) leader Farooq Abdullah stole the show with his wit and politically loaded remarks at the launch of Congress leader Manish Tewari’s new book ‘Fables of Fractured Times’. Asked about BJP general secretary Ram Madhav’s allegation that parties such as the NC were getting instructions from Pakistan, Abdullah said, “The fax machine in our Governor’s office doesn’t work. Then how would we receive instructions from Pakistan?” As JD(U) leader Pavan Verma reiterated that an alliance with the BJP in Bihar has not changed his party’s stance on secularism, Abdullah nudged him, saying “Leave them and join us then.” However, he drew more applause when he, after criticising the Congress for not honouring Atal Bihari Vajpayee during the UPA tenure, told Manmohan Singh, seated by him, “Please don’t mind me saying this. I also hope that they will give you Bharat Ratna.” Singh only smiled.
Against A Tide
Union Water Resources Secretary U P Singh, speaking at the India Rivers Week event at WWF-India, used the tale of the seven blind men and the elephant to draw parallels with how people think ways to clean and rejuvenate the Ganga. “Whoever touches one part of the elephant, they think the elephant is like that,” he said.
Newly appointed joint secretary in the MHA, Piyush Goel, has been made in-charge of Counter Terrorism and Counter Radicalisation (CTCR) division. Goel, a 1994-batch officer of Nagaland cadre, will be the first IAS officer to hold the post since 2014. His predecessors, including the one recently handling the additional charge of CTCR along with Left Wing Extremism (LWE) division, were from the Indian Police Service (IPS).