It was business as usual for former prime minister Manmohan Singh on his birthday on Wednesday. He attended a meeting of the parliamentary standing committee on Finance of which he is a member for the first part of the day. From President Ram Nath Kovind to Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi and former president Pranab Mukherjee, several dignitaries spoke to him over phone wishing him on his birthday. In the evening though he spent close to four hours from 4.30 pm meeting leaders and others who visited to greet him.
During the concluding ceremony of cycle yatras of the Samajwadi Party workers at Jantar Mantar recently, a party leader was abruptly asked to end his speech when he said that the nation needs party president Akhilesh Yadav to occupy the country’s top-most seat — referring to the PM position — and that he was the only strong person against divisive forces. He made the remark in the presence of party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh. After that remark, he was asked to end his speech. A party leader explained that such remarks were not welcome at a time when the anti-BJP alliance for the Lok Sabha elections is yet to finalise its leader.
UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey, the man in the thick of the Supreme Court ruling, had a busy day on Wednesday. He was rushing from his office to Shashtri Bhavan to the Finance Ministry with a booklet — “Notes on Aadhaar-related matters”. Underneath the headline, a table of contents listed: “Myths and Faces on Aadhaar” and “Malicious propaganda by lobbies against Aadhaar”. First, he went to see IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and then, they both went to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. From there, the three as well as Telecommunications Minister Manoj Sinha went to the National Media Center for a press conference. Finally, Pandey returned to his office for interviews with reporters.