President Pranab Mukherjee’s wife Suvra Mukherjee’s first death anniversary went by quietly in India, but in Bangladesh, the Indian envoy attended an event to mark the day. The event was held in Narail, Suvra’s ancestral village. The Mukherjee couple had visited the village during the President’s bilateral visit to Bangladesh in March 2013. Not only were some Bangladeshi political leaders present at last week’s event, the Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka, too, took out time to travel to Narail.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will receive a detailed briefing from Union ministers on Wednesday about their participation in the Independence Day celebrations and the nationwide Tiranga Yatra. Ahead of the meeting, several ministers — Radha Mohan Singh and Ram Vilas Paswan, among others — have been updating their itinerary on social media, while others have been calling up journalists to share their destination, hoping for some coverage.
The lateral shift of two Joint Secretary-rank officers out of the Home Ministry on Monday is believed to have been prompted by the view that the ministry had a large number of Joint Secretaries — as many as 20 — at a time when there is dearth of officers in other ministries. While Rakhee Gupta Bhandari, who was JS (International Cooperation), has been transferred to the Minority Affairs Ministry, JS (Freedom Fighters & Rehabilitation) Rajit Punhani has been shifted to the Ministry of Labour and Employment. It was felt that having JS-rank officers handling such divisions was a luxury. With the MHA not expecting any replacements for these two officers, an organisational restructuring is now on the cards.
Some opposition MPs in West Bengal seem to find little time to develop their constituencies. While state Congress chief and Murshidabad MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has spent nothing from his MPLADS funds in the last two years, Darjeeling MP and MoS Agriculture S S Ahluwalia managed to spend only 3.66 per cent of the corpus. In a letter to West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation Sadananda Gowda has listed the MPLADS spending of all 42 Lok Sabha MPs from the state. Most of the others have spent 40-50 per cent of the funds.