Shunning special privileges he is entitled to by virtue of holding the second highest constitutional position in the country, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu surprised officials and devotees by reaching the main complex at Tirumala temple through the Vaikuntam Queue Complex instead of the ‘mahadwaram’ during a recent trip. His wife T Ushamma and other family members accompanied him. The Vice President and his family members participated in ‘ánna prasadam’ — the free meal programme at the temple — along with devotees. Naidu’s family members also enrolled as volunteers for Srivari Seva, a voluntary service of serving food to devotees and cleaning after the meals at Anna Prasadam centre.
At Eid lunches hosted by Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and senior BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain, the controversial tweet by Giriraj Singh was the main talking point. With his tweet mocking NDA leaders attending iftar parties drawing the ire of his colleagues and the party president Amit Shah, everyone was keen to see if Singh turns up for the lunch hosted by his Cabinet colleague. Singh’s junior in the Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Sanjeev Balyan was at Naqvi’s lunch, but Singh stayed away. One BJP leader quipped that non-vegetarians are now “at the mercy” of Singh, a staunch vegetarian, as he has been given the portfolio of animal husbandry and fisheries.
Call of Duty
It seems the massive poll victory has not led to any relaxation in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strictness in dealing with his ministers. On the first day he met his ministers, Modi told them not to waste a minute and get involved with the works of their respective ministries. He told them not to travel outside Delhi to be felicitated. But some ministers travelled to their home states to visit their constituencies. They had to return immediately as they got a call from Prime Minister’s office — he had a one-to-one meeting with all Cabinet ministers explaining his vision about the respective ministry.