After being out of action for some time because of his renal transplant, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seems to be back in the thick of things in the party as well. Since his return, Jaitley has come to the party office a few times for organisational work. After having participated in the CMs’ conference at party headquarters late last month, he was back in the party office on Tuesday for a high-level meeting with BJP chief Amit Shah. They were joined by a battery of ministers like Ravi Shankar Prasad, Prakash Javadekar, J P Nadda, Piyush Goyal, Nirmala Sitharaman and Smriti Irani. From the party, the meeting was attended by the likes of Bhupender Yadav, Arun Singh, Anil Baluni and Sanjay Mayukh. This internal meeting was learnt to have chalked out the party’s communication strategy for the forthcoming Assembly elections with an eye on Lok Sabha elections.
Adya Prasad Pandey’s premature return to Manipur University (MU) has put the Union government in a fix. Pandey, who is MU’s Vice-Chancellor, had gone on leave to help end the student protest that has paralysed the university for months. Students are dead against his presence on campus until the inquiry into charges of irregularities against him is wound up. Pandey, however, resumed duty last week without informing the HRD Ministry. This development could undo all the negotiations undertaken by the government with students. Since his joining, the ministry has been speaking to the V-C to convince him to go back on leave. Pandey hasn’t relented yet.
Despite being a high profile, PM-monitored project delivered in record time, the country’s first Railway University is going for a rather low-key launch on Wednesday to coincide with Teachers’ Day. Classes will start without fanfare. It is said that the PM will inaugurate it only when the construction is complete, including all buildings, hostels etc. An invite from Railways for tomorrow was sent to the PMO long ago. Minister Piyush Goyal and Chairman Ashwani Lohani too will not be going to Vadodara, thanks to the Cabinet meeting.