Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who switched back to the NDA a few months ago, took no chances while going for the swearing-in of the new BJP government in Gujarat. To ensure that morning fog does not play spoilsport to his plans to attend the ceremony, Nitish, his deputy Sushil Modi and JD(U) general secretary Sanjay Jha departed from Patna around 3 am to land in Ahmedabad at dawn. Thus making sure that he would be counted among the NDA chief ministers at the event in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state.
He may have been at the centre of controversy, but his fraternity seems to be enamoured by him. The Indian Medical Association has decided to show its “appreciation” for the former MCI chief and outgoing president of World Medical Association by naming the annual lecture of its own outgoing president the ‘Dr Ketan Desai Medical Statesman of the Highest Order Oration’. The first oration will be delivered by IMA president and Padma Shri awardee Dr K K Aggarwal in Mumbai. While the lecture is an annual affair, the name is a new one. Hence Dr Aggarwal’s speech is being called the first IMA Dr Ketan Desai Medical Statesman of the Highest Order Oration. Ketan Desai was arrested and jailed in 2010 over charges of corruption and criminal conspiracy while he was president of the Medical Council of India.
Parliamentary leaders of the Congress and top government ministers remained in touch during the extended weekend and Christmas break to resolve the stalemate over the opposition demand for a clarification from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his remarks about his predecessor Manmohan Singh. The Congress had been disrupting Rajya Sabha over the issue. Sources said both sides have not been able to find a solution to the logjam, but there is some progress. While the Congress wants the PM to come to the House and clarify his remarks, the government has agreed to let a senior minister explain. With no breakthrough, Parliament is likely to witness slogan-shouting again on Wednesday, when it resumes after the break.
Back And Forth
Back-to-back swearing-in ceremonies in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh have meant that CMs of other BJP-ruled states are in a rush while going about their usual business. Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, in fact, greeted the new Gujarat CM before the swearing-in and flew back to his state without participating in the ceremony. Other CMs were busy charting their next travel plan to Shimla. BJP chief Amit Shah, who has to be at both the ceremonies, optimised his travel plans by staying over in Gujarat instead of planning multiple trips via Delhi. BJP in-charge of Himachal, Mangal Pandey, however, landed in Shimla Tuesday to prepare for the ceremony. The PM and a host of BJP CMs will descend in Shimla on Wednesday.