Olive branch

Verma is said to have agreed reluctantly but only if Mulayam does not make any personal remarks against him.

Written by Express News Service | Published: April 4, 2013 1:15:25 am

Olive branch

While Mulayam Singh Yadav has been carrying on with his acidic attacks on the Congress,the ruling party itself is taking care not to retaliate,wary as it is against pushing the Samajwadi Party to a point of no return. Key to the Congress strategy is to rein in Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma,who has been shooting his mouth off against Mulayam. Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi in fact met Verma Wednesday in order to persuade him not to escalate matters. Verma is said to have agreed reluctantly but only if Mulayam does not make any personal remarks against him. The ceasefire from the Congress end,therefore,is fragile but it is likely to hold for at least one week since the Steel Minister will be away in Africa for that time on official work.

REBRANDING EXERCISE

HER call for industrialisation of Bengal with seminars and campaigns like Bengal Leads may not have fetched much returns despite Shah Rukh Khan campaigning for the cause,but Mamata Banerjee is undaunted. Now her government has decided to attract national and international tourists to her state with a slogan in Hindi,“Chalo Chalen Bengal”,joining states like Madhya Pradesh and Kerala in such “re-branding” exercise. A month-long campaign is being launched in the capital on Thursday.

OUTSIDE SUPPORT

A LARGE poster welcoming Narendra Modi’s induction into the BJP parliamentary board has come up outside the BJP national office in Delhi. The poster has been put up not by a BJP worker but by Tejendra Pal Singh Bagga,president of Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena. The biggest achievement of Bagga has been his physical assault on Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan in 2011,supposedly for Bhushan’s ‘anti-national’ views on Kashmir. Bagga is planning to get 10,000 posters of Modi distributed throughout the country,or so he claims.

IN DEMAND

IT was after considering several candidates that Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal zeroed in on M F Farooqui to take over as the Secretary in his ministry. The 1978-batch IAS officer from Tamil Nadu cadre was quite keenly sought by another ministry only months ago — the Ministry for Environment & Forests where he was serving as Additional Secretary until last year. Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan had in fact written to the Prime Minister’s Office,seeking to retain Farooqui in the ministry as Secretary citing his understanding of the sector. Farooqui,however,was appointed as Secretary in the Department of Heavy Industries. He now fills in R Chandrashekhar’s shoes in the Telecom Ministry.

OUTSOURCING TASK

CONGRESS party has revised its plan to set up a 35-member team for social media. It is now exploring the possibility of outsourcing the job to private entities while having a small team of its own. Chairman of AICC’s computer department Vishvjit P Singh and party MP Deepender Singh Hooda spent hours on Tuesday and Wednesday going through presentations made by several private companies,including some multinationals,which are eager to take a contract from the ruling party to increase its presence on social media. The party was said to have decided to outsource the job to private groups after it was felt that it may not have the requisite expertise and manpower to “swamp” the social media space as it had planned. The only apprehension the party leaders now have is the lack of political insight and acumen in private entities to project its views on Twitter and Facebook.

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