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Monsoon Clouds

While it became known only that NCP chief Sharad Pawar had recused himself from an Empowered Group of Ministers

Written by Express News Service | Published: July 3, 2012 2:49:30 am

WHILE it became known only on Monday evening that NCP chief Sharad Pawar had recused himself from an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on 2G,the signs were visible in the morning itself. The EGoM meeting,slated for Monday,was on the list of Pawar’s daily appointments,but soon after coming to office,he asked his staff to ask the officials of the Met department to brief him on the status of monsoon,which has been deficient so far,and its implications on the kharif crops. The timing he gave to the Met officials coincided with the slot that was fixed for EGoM meeting. It was only then that the staff realised that something was amiss. But the confirmation about Pawar’s pull out came only in the evening. Incidentally,Pawar was said to be happy with what the Met officials told him — that despite a 31 per cent shortfall in rains in June,the forecast for July and August was good and there was unlikely to be much adverse impacts on the crops.

Branching Out

THE National Investigation Agency,created in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack case,is expanding its organisation at the rapid case,as it deals with more and more terror-related cases. It already has a presence in Hyderabad while a branch was opened in Guwahati last year. It is now in the process of opening field offices in Lucknow,Mumbai and Kochi. The agency recently reached out to the state governments of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra to facilitate the setting up of offices in their capitals. These field offices will cater to the NIA cases which are registered in those regions. The agency also plans to transfer the investigations of old cases to these field offices.

Costly Move

A JOINT secretary in the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT),who has joined recently,is said to be unhappy with the room he has been allotted in the second floor. He has taken a liking for a room on the ground floor that is currently being used by the RTI Cell. Since,the RTI Cell must be located at the ground floor considering the influx of outsiders,another room is being prepared for the RTI Cell so the joint secretary can be accommodated. Thus,the RTI section now occupying the room will require to be shifted to a new place. Therefore,three sections are now in the process of being moved around to please the joint secretary. The renovation costs are likely to be in the range of a few lakhs of rupees.

Wedding Whispers

THE wedding reception of BJP president Nitin Gadkari’s son as expected was a star-studded affair. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,Vice-President Hamid Ansari,industrialist Mukesh Ambani were all present. So were Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and former chief ministers Sharad Pawar,Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushilkumar Shinde. The entire top brass of the BJP was obviously present in full attendance. But political watchers could still have something to talk about. Congress president Sonia Gandhi,who Gadkari had gone personally to invite,did not come. Nor did Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar,whose deputy Sushil Kumar Modi had personally delivered the invitation to him and also got Gadkari to talk to the chief minister. But Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was present and was the star attraction. In jest,he asked mediapersons present to shift their headquarters for the time being to Ahmedabad because Gujarat is going for elections in the next few months.

Clean Sweep

HARYANA seems to have created a record of sorts by removing as many as 31 of its law officers at one go. While one of the reasons given is the austerity drive,the dismissals have become the talk of the town,not in the least because quite a few of them were considered close to state ministers. The maximum discussion,however,is around two of them — R S Chahar who happens to be the son-in-law of former chief minister Bansi Lal,and Adish C Aggarwala,who at one point happened to hold the post of a law officer in both Haryana and Punjab at the same time. Aggarwala,incidentally,is the same lawyer whose organisation had sometime back decided to honour Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav in London for his supposed service to the legal community.

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