Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had not kept her appointment with CPI leaders in Chennai last week,but promised she will meet them in Delhi Monday. She did,but the purpose of the meeting had been lost by then. She had outwitted the CPI which had been hoping for her support to get its nominee elected to Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu. CPI leaders A B Bardhan,S Sudhakar Reddy and D Raja,the nominee,were banking on their meeting in Delhi. But before coming to Delhi,Jayalalithaa,expecting such a request from the CPI,announced her partys candidates for all the six Rajya Sabha seats from her state so that the question of supporting a CPI nominee would no longer be an option.
GETTING A RAISE
THE Home Ministry has revised the monthly stipend that the gallantry medal winners are entitled to. The stipends for both the Presidents Police Medal and the Police Medal has been doubled. Winners of the Presidents Medal will now be entitled to Rs 3000 per month,instead of Rs 1500 per month earlier. Similarly,winners of Police Medal will now receive Rs 2000 per month instead of Rs 900 per month.
A DAMP SQUIB
INDIAS participation at the annual Shangrila dialogue in Singapore,the most prominent Asian strategic conference,has been a lackluster affair this year. First,Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh,who was to represent India at the conference,pulled out,and Navy chief D K Joshi was sent in his place. Then,Joshi refrained from delivering his prepared lecture on Avoiding Incidents at Sea. Defence Minister A K Antony,who has been a regular at this event in the past,chose to ignore the summit this year. He,however,landed in Singapore just a day after the conference for a bilateral meeting on defence.
RACE HOTS UP
R S Virdi,general manager of the Northeast Frontier Railway,and Kul Bhushan,Member (Electrical) in the Railway Board,are said to be the front runners for the post of chairman,Railway Board,which is falling vacant at the end of this month with the retirement of the incumbent. A shortlist of the eligible candidates is learnt to have been sent to the Central Vigilance Commission for the mandatory clearance. Meanwhile,the Group A officers association has written to the Railway Board chairman demanding that the names of those being considered for the top most jobs in the ministry be made public to ensure greater transparency. The Railway administration is not obliged to do so. In any case,officials are of the view that strict public scrutiny is likely to limit the chances of liberal interpretation and selective implementation of the appointment-related rules.