Plane truthhttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/plane-truth/

Plane truth

A chartered aircraft carrying top BJP leaders made an emergency landing at IGI Airport on Monday.

Plane truth

A chartered aircraft carrying top BJP leaders made an emergency landing at IGI Airport on Monday. BJP president Rajnath Singh,Leaders of the Opposition in both the houses,Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley,were on board. It now emerges that aircraft belonged to EON Aviation Private Ltd,a company owned by 2G telecom scam accused Shahid Balwa. The aircraft,which is turbine powered,challenger 604 Jet,is 15 years old,with registration number VT-DBG. Shahid Balwa is one of the promoters of DB Group,which owns DB Realty and Swan Telecom,now Etisalat DB Telecom. The company’s name had figured in the 2G scam. In 2011,Balwa was arrested by the CBI and is currently out on bail.

DESPERATE MEASURES

THAT the action in the Health Ministry is at an all-time low is no secret but in a desperate bid to stay in the news,it got a statement issued on Tuesday about a WHO inspection of the vaccine regulatory mechanism. The statement was complete with quotes from the Health Minister,Secretary and the WHO India representative. It so happens that the statement is more than three months old. The inspection happened in December and this same statement has been lying on the website of the Central Drugs and Standards Controls Authority (CDSCO) since then. The ministry applied its mind in getting the old release removed from the CDSCO website,but an entry on CDSCO’s Facebook page gave the game away.

FILLING THE HOT SEAT

N N Vohra is completing his five-year tenure as J&K Governor in June,and efforts are on to find a replacement. The man being talked about as his most likely successor is T K A Nair,who was principal secretary to P M Manmohan Singh for the first seven years of the UPA government. Nair is now serving as an adviser to the Prime Minister. The other candidate said to be in contention is the former director of Intelligence Bureau,Nehchal Sandhu,who is currently an OSD in the National Security Centre Secretariat. Sandhu has already been cleared to become the deputy NSA once Latha Reddy retires.

BACKING DOWN

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IIT Kharagpur may have exhibited considerable bravado in challenging the CVC’s jurisdiction over it in a bid to protect some of its professors from any vigilance action but it now has egg on its face. Embarrassed by the IIT’s action,the HRD Ministry last week summoned both the director of IIT Kharagpur and its registrar and word has it that they were delivered quite a dressing down. The effects have been immediate. The IIT is learnt to have withdrawn the affidavit it submitted before the Delhi High Court and has said that the paragraphs challenging the CVC were mistakenly used.

SOCIAL BATTLEFIELD

THE social media space has been really dominating political discourse these days. Cyber wars between the supporters of Congress and BJP took place after the highly publicised speeches by Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi in New Delhi recently. On Tuesday,the PMO also jumped into the fray. Even as Modi spoke at a public meeting in Kolkata,the PM’s official Twitter handle sought to put some “facts” in public domain. Even Modi took notice of the tweets and when he went to address his second meeting,he informed his audience about how the PMO was trying to counter him in real time.