Much is being said about Keshubhai Patel’s absence from and Shankersinh Vaghela’s marginalisation in the Gujarat poll scene. One leader whose absence was not talked about is that of Sonia Gandhi. Her earlier campaign in Gujarat had been controversial. The 2007 “maut ke saudagar” barb at Narendra Modi is part of political lexicon. While Sonia did not campaign in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, she had issued an appeal to voters in Rae Bareli and Amethi. It is thus surprising why she did not even issue an appeal to voters of Gujarat despite the election being a high-stakes battle for the Congress.
How to increase the happiness of railway employees so that they can perform better? This is one of the questions the entire railway brass — from Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to all general managers of Indian Railways — will be discussing at an internal meeting on Saturday through a daylong conclave. How to bring in dynamic pricing, increase market share and other serious matters like restructuring railway services will also be discussed. But the bureaucracy is most keen on the happiness-related topic, and officers expressed hope that something good might come out for them through the discussions.
Derek O’Brien surprised at least one of the fellow opposition leaders with his attire on Thursday. The Trinamool Congress leader came for a meeting of opposition leaders in Parliament without wearing any winter clothing. He wore a full-sleeved shirt. Samajwadi Party’s Naresh Agrawal was heard jokingly telling him that he should be donning some winterwear as he was in Delhi and not Kolkata. Derek replied he would do so “from tomorrow”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s seaplane ride ending his high-octane campaign for the Gujarat Assembly polls seems to have given wings to others’ imagination. First off the block seems to be Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat. At a meeting with Water Resources and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, Rawat explored the option of starting a seaplane scheme for Tehri and Nainital lakes along with major rivers in Uttarakhand with the help of the central government. Tehri and Nainital lakes are both prominent tourism destinations in Uttarakhand.