Home Minister Amit Shah was in Kolkata earlier this month to review BJP’s preparations for next year’s Assembly elections in West Bengal. The Trinamool Congress, too, is gearing up for what is expected to be a bitterly contested election, fielding its leaders to hold daily media briefings. The Congress, on the other hand, is yet to take stock of the situation. While the CPI(M) is ready for an electoral tie-up, the Congress’s central leadership is yet to discuss the matter. Its state unit, interestingly, is ready for the alliance. Now it is said that Rahul Gandhi will have a virtual meeting with West Bengal Congress leaders later this week to review poll preparations and hear their views on the situation on the ground.
India will host the G-20 summit in 2023, instead of 2022, which marks the 75th year of independence. The official explanation is that Indonesia wanted to swap, since it did not want to do two big events in 2023 — the country will chair the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in 2023. So, Jakarta asked New Delhi for the swap. India’s target for making arrangements for hosting the G-20 summit has fallen behind due to Covid-19 pandemic. Also, the buzz is that the G-20 summit will take place months before the Lok Sabha polls in 2024. So it was, as they say, a marriage of convenience.
A secretary of a ministry recently missed responding, on more occasion that one, to what the minister asked during meetings over video-conferencing. In the last two video conferences, the minister asked the secretary whether he could hear what he (minister) had instructed. But the secretary remained non-responsive. To other officers , it left the impression that the officer was deliberately not responding. However, if was later pointed out that there perhaps was a network problem due to which the secretary could not hear what the minister was saying.
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