Delhi Confidential: Stark Contrast

Delhi Confidential: Stark Contrast

The President had in January issued orders disqualifying 20 AAP MLAs (eventually set aside by the court) within 48 hours of receiving the EC’s opinion.

President Ram Nath Kovind.

In a shot in the arm for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), President Ram Nath Kovind, based on the Election Commission’s opinion, rejected a complaint accusing 27 AAP MLAs of holding offices of profit as chairmen of health welfare committees in different Delhi hospitals. On Thursday, after the news broke on social media, the Commission uploaded copies of its opinion tendered to Rashtrapati Bhawan and the order subsequently signed by Kovind. The dates on the two documents set tongues wagging in political circles. While the Commission’s opinion was sent on July 10, Rashtrapati Bhawan took more than three months to accept it. The order was only issued on October 15. This stood in stark contrast to the alacrity shown by the President in January this year in accepting the EC opinion that found 20 AAP MLAs guilty of holding offices of profit as parliamentary secretaries to ministers in the state government. The President had issued orders disqualifying 20 AAP MLAs (eventually set aside by the court) within 48 hours of receiving the EC’s opinion.

Woman Power

More and more women bureaucrats are being given charge of key divisions in the Union Home Ministry. Special Secretary (Internal Security) Rina Mitra is a West Bengal-cadre IPS officer, while Disaster Management and International Cooperation is headed by Haryana-cadre IAS officer Rajni Sibal as Additional Secretary. The government on Wednesday announced appointment of Jharkhand-cadre IAS officer Nidhi Khare into the MHA. Khare, a 1992-batch officer, will be posted at the joint secretary level. Two more women bureaucrats head the Coordination Division and Women Safety Wing as JS at the MHA.

Gangster & godfather

Many senior government officials from the Department of Telecommunications and the telecom regulator stopped by Facebook’s large and distinctive-looking space at the India Mobile Congress in Aerocity. DoT Special Secretary N Sivasailam even stepped into Facebook’s Camera Effects booth. The secretary and his colleagues laughed as he had multiple photoshopped pictures snapped and printed. As he spoke to Facebook’s top connectivity policy managers, the secretary called one photo “India gangsters”, with a turban photoshopped on his head, and another “The Godfather”.

Lesson For Men

Delivering the annual Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture on Thursday, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval wanted to discuss the importance of avoiding mistakes. He asked the men in the audience how many were married, and “do you know what is the biggest contribution of your wife?” Then he answered, “they prevent you from making mistakes, they tell you what not to do”, evoking nervous laughter and applause from some of the men. On the topic of avoiding mistakes, he mentioned mistakes of Hitler, of Japan bombing Pearl Harbour, of the Soviet Union going into Afghanistan, and added “if Nehru had not neglected the advice of Sardar Patel on Kashmir”, to some claps.