With Home Minister Amit Shah, usually one of the top election campaigners for BJP, not on the field, it seems Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has become one of the busiest campaigners for the party in Bihar. Singh has been asked to spend more time in the poll-bound state. As the BJP state unit demanded more time from him, Singh had to rejig his commitments to accomplish campaign work for the party. While Shah is trying to amplify the party’s communications through his media interviews, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, like her predecessor, was assigned the task of releasing the party’s election manifesto – in 2015, Arun Jaitley had released BJP’s vision document in Patna. Party chief J P Nadda is also expected to touch every region of Bihar with his rallies.
The Election Commission last week announced elections to 10 Rajya Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh and one in Uttarakhand which are falling vacant on November 25. The BJP is expected to win at least eight of the seats in UP given its numbers in the state Assembly. Curiously, there is some interest in the Congress on the BJP candidates’ list. The buzz in Congress circles is that BJP may field a leader who had quit the Congress and joined it some time back. The BJP has already sent Jyotiraditya Scindia to Rajya Sabha. It is to be seen whether it will give another former Congress leader a place in the Upper House.
Since many key meetings are taking place through video-conferencing these days, one concern has been that of secrecy of information. Earlier this week, during a review meeting of an important ministry, it was discovered that one participant among the officials present was, in fact, was not an insider and had no business being in that video conference. Corrective measures were taken and a policy-level message sent out to ensure that from now each participant in such should be placed on record with designation and name, and inclusion will only be on a need-to-know basis.
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