BJP Presdient Amit Shah celebrated his 51st birthday on Thursday in a quiet manner at his residence in the national capital. BJP leaders went with bouquets and sweets to greet him, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was in Andhra Pradesh, and senior cabinet ministers, many of who are in Bihar, sent their wishes. BJP leaders said Shah or other party leaders do not organise any grand celebrations on their birthdays. In the evening, Shah attended the Dussehra celebrations at the Parade Ground along with President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President Hamid Ansari and Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.
Apparently, at least three astrologers have told BJP leaders that the alignment of stars for the party in the next three months is not good. For a party which believes in astrology so much, and is in the midst of a crucial electoral battle in Bihar, this is enough to make it nervous. Many leaders, however, are putting a brave front, saying the next phases in Bihar elections are going in their favour.
Some officers in the Enforcement Directorate apparently heaved a sigh of relief when the special court discharged all the accused in the 2002 additional spectrum case last week. It was not because of any sympathy for the accused but they thought they narrowly escaped the fate that befell their colleagues in CBI. After the CBI had filed a chargesheet in the case, the ED had identified properties belonging to the accused, including Bharti Cellular Ltd, Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt. Ltd (now known as Vodafone India Ltd) and Sterling Cellular Ltd (now known as Vodafone Mobile Service Ltd) for attachment. It was only a last-minute rethink by then ED director Rajan Katoch that held the agency back. “Or else we too would have been asked to investigate ourselves by the court just as CBI,” said a senior ED official.
The HRD Ministry has kickstarted its hunt for the new chairperson of the Board of Governors at IIT Patna after HCL founder Ajai Chowdhury’s tenure ended on October 22. Apart from Chowdhury, whose name has been recommended by the institute for a second term, four other eminent personalities are in the running for the post. They are Ratan Kumar Sinha, just-retired chairman of Atomic Energy Commission, B Prasada Rao, chairman and managing director of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Samir K Brahmachari, former director general of CSIR, and H M Nerukar, former managing director of Tata Steel.