The Congress communication department will virtually move lock, stock and barrel to Bengaluru soon to give more firepower to the party’s campaign in the run-up to the Karnataka Assembly polls. Congress Communication department head Randeep Surjewala, convenor Priyanka Chaturvedi and Pawan Khera would set up a base in Bengaluru from next Monday. Some of the party’s media coordinators will also accompany them. The Congress had done the same experiment during the Gujarat elections, which had helped the party register an impressive performance.
Embarrassed with an unexpected query from an official, Rural Development Secretary Amarjeet Sinha terminated the question-answer session during the Gram Swaraj workshop organised at Vigyan Bhawan on Thursday. In the workshop, organised for around 1,200 officers, a Deputy Secretary asked that while officers are going to persuade people about schemes such as Jan Dhan what will they reply if people ask about Narendra Modi’s promise of giving Rs 15 lakh to the account of every Indian (once black money stashed abroad returns). As the audience burst out laughing at the unexpected query from a government official, Sinha did not answer it and instead asked the workshop participants to go for lunch. Some secretaries were also present. These 1,200 officers are appointed to monitor some flagships schemes in several districts during the April 14-May 5 Gram Swaraj campaign.
Following a very newsy few months, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has gone very quiet after former chairman Bhupendra Singh was transferred out earlier this year amid speculation that he had been removed for taking on private hospitals. With West Bengal cadre 1986-batch IAS officer R K Vats taking charge on Friday, the government would hope that Vats, who maintained a low profile in his last assignment as Additional Secretary in the Health Ministry, will be able to keep the authority out of any controversy.