The first month of the new year will be very busy for top bureaucrats and all the ministers. At least five meetings of the Union Council of Ministers are scheduled in the next two weeks. The Council of Ministers headed by PM Narendra Modi is expected to meet on the 7th, 8th, 13th, 17th and 20th of this month. This could be the first time the Council — which used to meet once or twice a year until a few years ago — will meet so frequently. Although it is deliberating sector-wise five-year vision documents concerning a group of ministries, all the secretaries have been asked to be present in every meeting.
In an unusual intervention, Rashtrapati Bhavan ensured that the destination wedding of Ohio resident Ashley Hall at Taj Cochin happened as planned. Hall had tweeted “Hey @rashtrapatibhvn- anything you can do to help us with your security team so that we don’t have to move our wedding from the @Taj_Cochin in under 48 hours?” about the wedding that took eight months to plan. As Rashtrapati Bhavan ensured it was on course, Hall thanked them, after which Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted, “We are glad the issues have been resolved. President Kovind conveys his best wishes to you on this joyous occasion.”
Though the party has not yet formally made its stance clear on whether it is considering projecting a CM candidate for the Delhi Assembly elections, recent actions by the state BJP seem to suggest it will be a Modi-versus-Kejriwal poll battle. The latest indication being the loudest slogan — “Delhi chale Modi ke saath 2020” — adorning the dais of the booth workers’ convention addressed by BJP president Amit Shah on Sunday. Late last month, the state unit put up posters across 1,731 ‘unauthorised’ colonies in the capital declaring them as ‘new authorised’ colonies with pictures of only Narendra Modi and the BJP’s election symbol. Both these developments came within a fortnight of PM Modi launching the BJP’s poll campaign for Delhi on December 22. The party had put up Kiran Bedi as CM candidate at the last moment in 2015, and it helped the party pin the blame for the disastrous results. There is still time before the next poll is announced, and these developments have set many a tongue wagging about a Modi-Kejriwal contest.