Prime Minister Narendra Modi has kept the Urban Development Ministry officials guessing on his plans to shift to 7, RCR — the official residence of the PM. Modi, who is still operating from Gujarat Bhawan premises, is likely to shift by the end of this month. While the officials have spruced up and refurbished the five bungalows, they are still waiting a green signal from Modi’s office as to which of the two bungalows — 3 or 5 — he would like to occupy. Modi’s office has not spelt out any particular preferences of the PM.
While the spotlight was on Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to India on the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the latter seems to have already won over many hearts in neighbouring Bhutan. Shortly after the elections results were out, Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay was learnt to have reached out to Modi through an informal bureaucratic channel to congratulate him on his victory. Modi received his call while he was about to give his victory speech in Vadodara. Tobgay was so impressed with Modi in his short telephonic talk that he immediately decided to brief the King of Bhutan about it. By late evening, the King also wanted to congratulate Modi who promptly responded and the two were said to have had a pleasant telephonic conversation.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was learnt to have been gifted a compilation of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s poems when he called on him before leaving for Islamabad. The Pakistani premier, incidentally, came across BJP president Rajnath Singh who was on his way out after calling on Vajpayee to seek his blessing. Singh and Sharif shook hands and exchanged pleasantries before saying good bye to each other.
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When Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh formally took charge on Wednesday, many old-timers at Krishi Bhawan were reminded of former deputy prime minister Devi Lal who held the portfolio in the V P Singh and Chandrashekhar governments. Radha Mohan insisted on Hindi translation of all papers being presented to him. Old-timers remembered how they had created a special translation section of Urdu and Hindi for Devi Lal to do official work on paper. Now, it’s time for a powerful Hindi section to serve Radha Mohan, an RSS worker.
Just before he took charge as the Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu cracked a coconut and did a pooja in his office in the presence of officials and mediapersons. Accompanied by his wife, daughter and granddaughters, he spent an hour with his team and even introduced his family to UD secretary Sudhir Krishna. Apologising for not taking charge of the ministry as scheduled on Tuesday, Naidu said he could not do so as he had been called by his “mother” who was none else but his party.