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On Saturday, when Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh appeared before a Bhopal court in connection with an alleged recruitment scam during his tenure as the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister between 1993 and 2003, he had decided not to approach the High Court for bail. While his lawyers tried to persuade him, Singh told them he would go to jail. That was averted, however, as the court, which had issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against him on Friday, granted bail on its own. But had that not happened, Singh would have spent his birthday, February 28, in jail. His lawyer, senior advocate Vivek Tankha, ensured he got to celebrate the occasion with his family.
FB’s Bengal Corner
It is supposed to be unrelated to the impending Assembly elections in West Bengal, but questions are bound to be raised, as Facebook organises a unique essay competition, Bengal Write Ahead, which got under way on Saturday. The foundation was apparently laid during Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien’s meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. As part of the competition, 500-word write-ups can be submitted in Bengali and English, 10 of which will be awarded Rs 10,000 and 50 published in a compendium brought out by Rupa Publications.
Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu recently held a public reception for the newly married son and daughter-in-law of Parliamentary Affairs Secretary Afzal Amanullah. Naidu could not attend the wedding in Kolkata, and invited around 60 people for the reception held at his residence. Among the invitees were his ministerial colleagues Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Najma Heptulla. Naidu even made the couple garland each other with a garland made of cardamoms. Amanullah was touched by the gesture, and officials say no cabinet minister has ever done something like this for an officer.
In The Dark
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu’s Rail Budget has taken even many bureaucrats in Rail Bhawan by surprise. A day after the budget, officials were seen either asking around and wondering about the various new budget initiatives related to their directorates. Turns out that the officials, who will ultimately implement some of the initiatives, had a sense of disconnect — many said they had no clue about them, and are at a loss. They are now awaiting instructions on how to go about implementing them.