At a conference of women journalists organised by the Women and Child Development Ministry Tuesday, MoS for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman made a detailed presentation on all women-oriented schemes of the NDA government. Interestingly, the numerous slides in the half-hour PowerPoint presentation did not feature any prominent woman — not even Sitharaman herself, or WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi. Instead, each slide had an imposing photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Also conspicuous by her absence at the daylong event was National Commission for Women chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam. Those in the know say her absence had much to do with the fact that the WCD Ministry sent her the invitation at the last minute even though it meticulously planned the event weeks in advance.
Raring To Glow
Remember Lal Bihari Tiwari, the former BJP Lok Sabha MP from East Delhi? Years after being sidelined, he has managed to stage a bit of a comeback. Tiwari was recently made chairman of the Passenger Services Committee, one of the several advisory panels in the Railways Ministry. Notwithstanding the committee’s limited clout, Tiwari looks determined to extract maximum publicity from the job. Therefore, each visit of the committee to a railway station is invariably followed by a press release, giving a detailed account of deficiencies the panel found. Now, that is not exactly what the ministry would want. It would be happier publicising its achievements, but there is no stopping Tiwari.
Hall Of Past Fame
Politicians of all shades share this conclusion: people whose political careers have hit a dead-end park themselves in the Central Hall of Parliament. This is an allusion to former Members of Parliament, some of them big players during their heydays, who spend a lot of time exchanging gossip in the Central Hall after having been rendered politically irrelevant. A sudden addition to this lot is Satish Sharma, an old Gandhi family loyalist. Not renominated by the party to Rajya Sabha, he seems to have already become a regular at the Central Hall.
Back On Asana
The official gala of the Yoga Day celebrations may have shifted to Chandigarh this year, but two days before that Ramdev will hold fort on Rajpath on June 19, holding a free camp. Incidentally, Ramdev had had to play second fiddle to H R Nagendra for the government’s yoga initiatives last. He was left on stage as a mere spectator when Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined the enthusiasts on the ground.