Newly elected Rajya Sabha MPs were nominated to standing committees Thursday. But the nomination of former deputy chairman Harivansh to a panel generated curiosity. The post of deputy chairman became vacant when his Rajya Sabha term ended. Now he has been re-elected as a member. The deputy chairman is not a member of any standing committee. So will Harivansh not be made deputy chairman again? Rajya Sabha sources say chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has begun looking into the procedures for election to the post. They say Harivansh can be re-elected as deputy chairman, but that it is a political call the ruling NDA will make. Harivansh will resign as member of the panel when he is re-elected deputy chairman, they add.
The growing discontent among party cadre over lateral entries in the BJP and Shivraj Singh Chouhan government appeared to be a key issue in the discussions between the RSS leadership and BJP leaders in Madhya Pradesh this week. Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat, who was in Bhopal this week, met old associates and top ministers. He was in the city for a meeting of the RSS top leadership. While many of the senior ministers inducted into the Chouhan government recently are having a rendezvous with Bhagwat, he is unlikely to give time for those who have migrated from the Congress.
In a bureaucratic rejig, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet on Friday approved the appointment of Ram Mohan Mishra as Secretary of Ministry of Women and Child Development. A 1987-batch Assam-Meghalaya cadre IAS officer, Mishra will replace Ajay Tirkey, who has been appointed Secretary of Department of Land Resources. Bihar cadre IAS officer Rajesh Bhushan, presently OSD in the Department of Health and Family Welfare, will take over as Health Secretary. Secretary Mines Sushil Kumar has been transferred to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes as Secretary. The post of Secretary, Ministry of Mines has been assigned to Coal Secretary Anil Jain.
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