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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Balancing Act?

While BJP president Rajnath Singh did not entertain L K Advani’s demand for a parallel election management

Published: July 3, 2013 1:21:53 am

Balancing Act?

While BJP president Rajnath Singh did not entertain L K

Advani’s demand for a parallel election management committee under Nitin Gadkari,he is said to be under pressure to assign weightier responsibility to his predecessor. Though Tripura and Delhi remain without any state in-charge,Gadkari is tipped to be the front-runner in the race to get charge of Delhi. To match his stature though,say party sources,Rajasthan may also be put under Gadkari’s charge in what could be Singh’s balancing act.

Noted Absentees

Tuesday’s meeting of the consultative committee for Ministry of Home Affairs,which discussed steps to combat terrorism,left two senior bureaucrats miffed. The Home Ministry had invited senior officers from each division for the meeting but left out A K Mangotra,a 1978 batch IAS officer from Manipur-Tripura cadre,who handles sensitive projects of border management. Another senior officer of 1982 batch Jammu and Kashmir cadre,Khurshid Ahmed Ganai,Additional Secretary in charge of Foreigners,UT and Police Modernisation divisions,was also not invited to the meeting.

Tech Troubles

Once a hot favourite with the HRD Ministry,the Aakash tablet project has hit another roadblock. Additional Secretary N K Sinha,who was heading project and was passionate about it,was not given an extension and was repatriated to his cadre. Karnataka cadre IAS officer Rajiv Chawla who was slated to take over the mission this month declined citing personal reasons. Even senior consultant NMEICT Pradeep Verma who has been closely involved with the project has opted out. While the project has been,for now,entrusted to Joint Secretary Amit Khare,the search is on to find a tech-savvy IAS officer to steer it.

Out of the Loop

About six months after Rahul Gandhi took charge as Congress vice-president,there still appears to be a gap in communication between his office-cum-residence at 12,Tughlaq Lane and party headquarters at 24,Akbar Road. As always,senior AICC functionaries remain clueless about his whereabouts or even his itinerary. It was evident during his recent visit to Uttarakhand when even communications department chairman Ajay Maken had to skirt queries about the exact schedule and location of the party vice-president in the state. AICC functionaries were earlier fumbling for words when asked about their reaction to opposition BJP’s barbs against Rahul for his absence from the country for days after the disaster struck Uttarakhand. Party leaders claim that they are usually not kept in the loop by Rahul’s office.

Power Shift

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s anointment as BJP’s chief campaigner for the next Lok Sabha elections has led to a re-alignment of power equations within the BJP and the NDA and it has had direct impact on the masses of Bihar — and literally so. Before his split with the BJP,Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar often attacked the UPA government for not giving the state its allocated share of 1984 MW of electricity — there was always a shortfall of 200-300 MW. Things,interestingly,appear to have improved “on the power front” with the JD(U) severing ties with the BJP. Now the Centre has not only started giving Bihar its full allocation of electricity but also added a bonus — increasing it by 50 MW. And this power shower has come without the usual hue and cry raised by the state government.

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