AS IT eyes a national profile for itself, the Trinamool Congress has revamped its list of national spokespersons. While six of them are MPs, and one, Mohua Moitra, is an MLA, the inclusion of state-level leaders Manas Bhuyan and Nirbed Roy — who both joined the party from the Congress recently — has fuelled speculation about the four Rajya Sabha seats occupied by the Trinamool Congress which will fall vacant next year. All eyes will be on Mamata Banerjee, who will have the final vote on who gets an entry into the Rajya Sabha.
DUE TO the visit of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave had to miss the launch of the Madhya Pradesh government’s initiative to clean the Narmada river. Dave was supposed to be in Amarkantak on Monday, along with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan who flagged off the Namami Devi Narmadey Yatra. However, Dave learnt over the weekend that he had been named the minister-in-waiting for the visiting Indonesian President. So the minister, who has been actively involved in the Narmada river conservation programmes, had to cancel his trip to Madhya Pradesh.
THE INDIAN Revenue Service officers may be burdened with work following demonetisation, but it has not deterred them from their annual routine. In January-end every year, the officers organise a cricket tournament in Goa, with teams drawn from various IT zones across the country. So by December, the taxmen start spinning their wrists, dusting their old cricket bats and heading to the neighbouring field for practice. The scrutiny of millions of financial transactions this year has not dampened their spirits, as they have started to pad up for the Goa tournament.
THE FINANCE ministry spokesperson caused a few minutes of panic on Wednesday as he sent a message to mediapersons that old Rs 500 notes would be accepted at medicine shops and for paying public utility bills only till Wednesday night. He also requested that the information be flashed “quickly”, especially on “all (TV) channels and wire agencies for the benefit of people at large”. Responding to his message, the news was flashed on TV within minutes. However, the spokesperson soon sent a correction, saying that the old notes would be accepted till Thursday night.