RPI(A) leader Ramdas Athawale, who took charge as Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Monday, is set to be to be welcomed by the Maharashtra unit of his party with great pomp. The celebrations will start from the moment Athawale lands in Mumbai Tuesday evening. A 15-km roadshow from the airport will end at Chaityabhoomi in Dadar, where Athawale is to pay tribute to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.
On his first day after taking over as Railway Minister for the second time, Piyush Goyal drew applause from railway employees as he addressed a retirement function for, among others, Railway Board Member, Traction. In an apparent reference to working long hours in his first term and his style of pulling no punches in meetings, Goyal said in a lighter vein that after portfolios were announced, he had feared that he would be greeted with long faces in Rail Bhawan. Bureaucrats in the ministry are speculating that Commerce ministry might take away much of Goyal’s time since it is a new charge for him and also because much of his work in Railways in the previous term are already in progress.
A Long Wait
Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, which is without a head since its V-C was sacked in December 2017, will have to wait longer. Although the panel of three finalists was ready by September last year, the HRD Ministry forwarded it to the President only in February. In the meantime, one of the three finalists, Avinash Khare, was appointed V-C of Sikkim University. The President’s office is learnt to have sent the file back to the ministry, asking for more names.
Hanging In Balance
The absence of BJP leader Sushma Swaraj in cabinet leaves the fate of Group of Ministers (GoM) examining the possibility of enacting a law to check lynchings hanging in balance. The GoM headed by then Home Minister Rajnath Singh held meetings with members of the expert panel which had submitted suggestions. One has to wait and see if the GoM will be revived in this term.