The post-retirement appointments top bureaucrats manage to land have always been a topic of debate. Congress Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury is learnt to have flagged this issue in his dissent note, which he had given to the Prime Minister-headed high-powered committee tasked with the selection of Chief Information Commissioners and Information Commissioners. He is learnt to have said it was surprising that despite a large number of scientists, academics, historians, human rights activists and people from legal and social service backgrounds having applied for the posts of CIC and ICs, the Cabinet Secretary-headed search committee did not find a single suitable candidate to shortlist from that talent pool.
At a time the Congress is facing desertions in Uttar Pradesh, former Union minister Jitin Prasada is slowly expanding his Brahmin Chetna Parishad, turning it into a full-fledged organisation—much to the chagrin of the UP party leadership. On Friday, the outfit released its second list of presidents for 15 districts, including Varanasi, Kanpur and Hathras. Prasada’s Brahmin outreach is interesting, given that it comes at a time when the Congress is aggressively wooing the Dalit community in UP, having recently raised the Hathras issue in a big way, among other moves.
All Eyes on Tejashwi
Most Congress candidates in Bihar are keen that RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav campaign in their constituencies. Many Congress nominees are contesting seats that are considered difficult, and they believe a Tejashwi rally in their constituency can help them sail through. There is said to be demand for rallies by former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi by party’s candidates in Muslim-concentrated Seemanchal region. Rahul, it is said, has agreed to campaign for an extra day. He was to spend three days in Bihar for each phase, but now may campaign on November 3 and 4, addressing three rallies in Seemanchal and one for Sharad Yadav’s daughter Subhashini in Bihariganj constituency.
Cycle Of Politics
Energy Minister Shrikant Sharma surprised many on Friday by riding a cycle from his residence in Lucknow to a power substation a few kilometres away for a surprise inspection. He posted a video on Twitter and wrote that he will from now on use a bicycle to reach office. He also said this is his contribution towards reducing pollution. Opposition Samajwadi Party did not waste time in taking a dig. Referring to the red cap Sharma was wearing, the SP’s Twitter handle posted the video saying that even those in power are embracing the Samajwadi colours—cycle is SP’s electoral symbol, and its leaders and workers wear red caps.
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