As bad news starts pouring in for the Congress from Haryana predicting barely 3-4 seats for the ruling party, former Union minister Kumari Selja is facing flak for causing negative sentiments in the run-up to the polls. She had opted out of the contest and was even rewarded with a Rajya Sabha nomination by the party high command. Haryana Congress leaders claim her exit from the electoral scene had sent out a wrong signal to non-Jat voters in the state. Nobody is speaking out though, given Selja’s proximity with the Congress high command that had earned her a Rajya Sabha seat.
In terms of over-reach, perhaps no collegium would be able to match the selection committee for the appointment of Lokpal. An outgoing Prime Minister is trying to get an outgoing Lok Sabha Speaker and an outgoing Leader of Opposition on board to put in place the entire Lokpal body in consultation with an outgoing Chief Justice of India. And this, in the midst of Lok Sabha elections. Wonder, what else is the UPA regime up to ahead of election results.
SHOT IN THE ARM
Haryana cadre IAS officer and additional secretary in the Health Ministry Anuradha Gupta has been appointed deputy CEO of the global vaccine alliance GAVI. As mission director of the National Health Mission, and the officer credited with the last leg of the fight against polio before India was finally declared free of it, Gupta’s close association with the immunisation programme though has raised some concerns of conflict of interest, given the fact that Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had resisted GAVI funding for the programme for the first couple of years of his tenure.
With Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde busy with Lok Sabha elections, Home Secretary Anil Goswami is calling the shots in the ministry. Although the trusted lieutenant has put all key decisions on hold till Shinde’s return, he was said to have instructed his joint secretaries to consult Shinde over phone and in cases of important decision send the files to Maharashtra for an approval.