Delhi Confidential: UP IN DIDI’S SIGHTs

Sharma is learnt to have assured the party of victory and the party has no reason to not believe him.

Published: January 1, 2014 10:53:40 pm


Even before it sits down to draw up its list of candidates from Bengal in the Lok Sabha polls,Mamata Banerjee has decided her candidate on at least one Lok Sabha seat in faraway UP. Her party’s only MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Manth constituency Shyam Sunder Sharma will be the TMC candidate from Mathura. Sharma is learnt to have assured the party of victory and the party has no reason to not believe him. In fact,encouraged by the TMC’s good fortunes in recent panchayat polls in Bengal,Mamata has decided to field candidates in Kerala as well. TMC second in command,Mukul Roy,inaugurated the party’s state headquarters in Kochi last week.


Top slots in the MHA are falling vacant with the ministry set to lose two more top bureaucrats who are returning to their cadre ahead of the general election. Additional secretary from Tamil Nadu K Skandan has gone back to his cadre while K A Ganai,additional secretary,is also moving back to J&K cadre. Skandan,who was handling charges of Centre-states relations and J&K was instrumental during the creation of Telangana while Ganai was handling foreigners,police modernisation,UT division in the ministry. The MHA,however,appears to be in no hurry to fill the slots. It is still to pick candidates for these two posts even as another post of special secretary (internal secretary) is lying vacant for the past three months.


Bureaucrats it seems are loathe to miss their vacations no matter what else they might miss. Principal DG PIB Neelam Kapoor missed the launch of the DAVP calendar which the who’s who of the I&B Ministry attended Tuesday. Sources say she will just make it for the Prime Minister’s press conference,joining office a day before. While the 2014 DAVP calendar itself celebrates the successes of the UPA government,it skips all mention of major missions like NRHM,the newly launched urban health mission and even the monumental achievement of eradicating polio. I&B Minister Manish Tewari said health achievements could not be accommodated as “there are only 12 months in a year”.


Cabinet Secretary Ajit Kumar Seth has found a new way to keep tabs on ministries. He invites secretaries for what he calls an “informal chat”,usually on Fridays. But,the “chat session” as Seth’s fellow bureaucrats have discovered is mostly a grilling session that ends up going into minute details on issues and specific projects. The word out in the bureaucracy is to no longer treat this as chat sessions but take it as formal meetings and go fully prepared on every aspect.


Devi Lal may have been thrilled being proclaimed as the universal “Tau” by his followers. No such “desi” title for the new generation of his clan. Digvijay Chautala,son of Ajay Chautala,for instance,has opted for the more modern suffix of “Youth Icon.” And to give a cue to his admirers,he has added “Youth Icon” to his name on his Facebook. Anyone taking the hint?

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