FINANCE MINISTER Arun Jaitley threw a grand dinner Saturday night to celebrate the passage of the bankruptcy Bill by Parliament in the just-concluded session. Among those present were former CAG Vinod Rai, who is now Chairman of the Banks Board Bureau, SEBI Chairman U K Sinha and former Law Secretary T K Viswanathan, who headed the committee that drafted the Bill. More than the food, the hot topic of discussion was loan defaulter Vijay Mallya and what needs to be done to recover the money from him and others like him.
THERE WAS a bit of a flutter in the CBSE office this week as officials received phone calls inquiring whether the government has decided to celebrate Children’s Day on November 20 instead of November 14, the birthday of Jawaharlal Nehru. Turns out this was because of the Board’s academic calendar, which it issues to all affiliated schools each year. This year, the calendar shows November 14 as Guru Nanak Jayanti and November 20 as Children’s Day, which is actually the International Childrens’ Day. Officers are learnt to have made phone calls to find out how this happened. CBSE then assured all callers that this was a clerical error and said the calendar should have also marked November 14 as Children’s Day. The corridors of Shastri Bhawan, however, are still abuzz with rumours and theories.
Unease Over Remarks
THERE IS displeasure among some BJP leaders over the top leadership’s “unnecessary dragging of the names of foreign countries” into their election campaign and getting caught on the wrong foot. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah had often referred to Nepal and Pakistan in their election rallies in Bihar, which drew criticism in the social media. Recently, Modi’s attempt to blame the Congress over the Italian marines’ issue also drew criticism against the government in the Rajya Sabha. In Kerala, the Prime Minister’s comparison of Kerala to Somalia angered the state’s politicians and triggered Twitter attack against Modi.
AS THE Trinamool Congress readies its defence and sharpens strategy to clear its five Narada-stung MPs in the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee, murmurs are growing stronger within the party about how Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy, who also featured in the sting, managed to escape the radar of the upper house’s Ethics Committee. There is speculation that the ruling party did not want to corner Mukul as that would further discredit Trinamool and end up helping the Left and Congress, which are perceived to be the “real enemy” of the saffron party. Incidentally, CPM’s general secretary Sitaram Yechury is a member of the Rajya Sabha panel.