When the Union Home Ministry finally conveyed the message of President’s assent to President’s rule, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had to be disturbed in his sleep, to inform him about the order. Jung was reportedly at his residence when Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde wrote him a letter informing about the President’s order on Monday. The Cabinet on Saturday had approved the LG’s recommendation of President’s rule but the orders were issued on Monday.
Tours cut short
Having spent about Rs 425 crore on tours of Cabinet ministers, Ministers of State and former prime ministers last fiscal, UPA-2 had budgeted a much less Rs 270 crore for these expenses in the current fiscal. But, the revised estimates in Monday’s interim budget documents reveal that the government will end up spending even less Rs 260 crore. Austerity? Or were some high-fliers cut to size this year?
After turning a deaf ear to teachers who have been opposing a decision of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan to increase their work hours by 1 hour 20 minutes in keeping with the provisions of the RTE Act for nearly two years, the UPA government now feels it may not be advisable to have resentful teachers on the eve of elections. It is learnt that the KVS Board of Governors chaired by HRD Minister Pallam Raju is likely to agree on Tuesday to a proposal to reduce the working hours of KVS teachers and restore the old time-table. Incidentally, this proposal had come up at Board meetings earlier and was summarily rejected.
Even as Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh sought to assure top BJP leaders that the government will sweeten the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh through some concrete measures for Seemandhra, BJP patriarch L K Advani had to take care of former party president Venkaiah Naidu. Since Naidu, who is a diabetic, had to delay his lunch to attend the meeting, he complained of falling sugar levels. Arun Jaitley initially sought to help him by offering chocolates but to no avail. That got BJP attendants to bring coffee and bread toast for Naidu at least twice during the meeting. With Naidu still not feeling better, the former BJP president had to leave the meeting a bit early to rush for his lunch.
SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav Monday sought to pin down the government by disturbing the presentation of the interim budget but recalled his flock from the Well of LS after Congress chief Sonia Gandhi promised him to look into his concern of reduced fund allotments to Uttar Pradesh after Yadav flagged it off through a slip to her when Chidambaram rose to present the budget. A pacified Mulayam, however, praised Nitish Kumar when the House took up discussion on Rail Budget for paying attention to rail connectivity to his constituency Mainpuri.