Accommodating the Chinese
The Chinese embassy is not quite happy about the choice of accommodation for visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao,who along with his delegation,is scheduled to stay at the Oberoi Hotel. Considering that the venue of the BRICS summit is Taj Palace Hotel,they have been raising the issue of travelling back and forth and possibility of protests mid-way. They are particularly peeved since the Brazilian delegation is staying at the venue itself. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is staying at the ITC Maurya Hotel next door,and the South African delegation is staying at Taj Mansingh. The Chinese have asked for extra security at the Oberoi Hotel,and even at the Claridges Hotel where a section of their
delegation is staying.
Games MPs play
If doodling during budgetary speeches is Mamata Banerjees forte,her party MPs are not too far behind. As Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjees reply was being heard in respectful silence in the Lok Sabha on Monday,Trinamool MPs generally looked sullen,except Saugata Roy and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar,who,sitting next to each other,cheerfully went through at least two games of noughts and crosses. Roy looked pleased at the end but it was hard to tell from the press gallery who won.
Even municipal elections in Delhi can have MPs from the farthest corners of the country taking a keen interest. Among the leaders pushing their candidates case with the Congress high command was Lakshwadeep MP Hamdullah Sayeed who reportedly was pushing for the candidature of his brother-in-law from Ballimaran. This was one instance of attempted nepotism that the Congress managed to say no to.
BACK TO PMO
THE latest addition to the Prime Ministers Offices (PMO) is 1987-batch Chhattisgarh cadre IAS officer B V R Subrahmanyam as Joint Secretary. He will be in-charge of key infrastructure ministries. Subrahmanyam is returning to the PMO after a stint at the World Bank he was earlier Private Secretary to the Prime Minister in UPA-I. Incidentally,Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Pulok Chatterji,who was Joint Secretary in the PMO from 2004 to 2009,also served in the World Bank in between the two postings. Subrahmanyam is replacing Punjab cadre IAS officer Vinni Mahajan,who has been appointed Principal Secretary (Health) in Punjab.
HRD Minister Kapil Sibals office is almost always inundated with requests related to school admissions and seldom are these entertained. However,when a request comes from the CAGs office it can hardly be ignored. CAG Vinod Rai is learnt to have requested admission of two students to a Kendriya Vidyalaya and wrote to Sibal to facilitate their applications through the ministers discretionary quota in KVs. The request,however,could not be entertained. Sibal,it may be recalled,had relinquished the ministerial quota soon after taking over the ministry.