After remaining away from courts for almost 10 years, former union law minister Kapil Sibal is back in action. The first thing he did after the change of government was to renew his bar licence, which enables him to take up practice again. Before he became a minister, Sibal, a designated senior advocate, was much in demand as a lawyer, especially in cases involving corporates.
Under fire for her comments about Muslims not being a minority, Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla Thursday visited the Nizamuddin Dargah and tried to do damage control. She said there is no doubt that Muslims are in need of development schemes. The government, she added, would act swiftly on the issue of innocent Muslim youth languishing in prisons on terror charges.
Signs of Change
Former HRD Minister Pallam Raju, soon after taking over, had effected quite a makeover at his office — right from his own office to the ante room and even the lobby leading to his third floor office in Shastri Bhawan. He also had a number of framed photos of schoolchildren outside his office’s main entrance. Within a day of Smriti Irani taking charge of HRD, the first thing to go is the set of photos.
Ahead of the proposed foundation day of Telangana state on June 2, two senior officers from the Ministry of Home Affairs are being tipped to be posted in the new state. The name of Rajiv Sharma, an IAS officer from Andhra Pradesh, who was handling the charge as additional secretary, Naxal division and special security (internal security) in the MHA, is tipped to be the new chief secretary of Telangana. Another IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, M Gopal Reddy, who was looking after the police-I division that handles transfer postings of IPS officers, is also being sent as principal secretary (Home).
Although BJP leaders sought votes on the promise that they would act as servants and not masters — shaasak nahi sewak — if their government was formed, within two days of taking charge of various ministries many BJP leaders have started behaving just like their predecessors of the Congress. On Wednesday, a senior officer was seen giving a tongue lashing to the personal staff of a Minister of State at Shastri Bhawan for stopping the only working lift in A Block for over 20 minutes. The minister’s office peon, who had stopped the lift on the second floor, was seen offering the explanation that the lift had been stopped for the minister. “But 20 minutes” asked the upset officer, ordering the peon to make the lift operational till the minister actually arrived.