Prodded into action
The Siddaramaiah government in Karnataka took many by surprise on late Friday evening with its announcement that it would pay for the medical expenses of legendary playback singer Manna Dey who had died in a private hospital on October 24. His family members had paid Rs 14 lakh to the hospital but were finding it difficult to arrange remaining Rs 28 lakh. Their request to the Congress government in Karnataka had drawn no response and so they were reportedly planning to take bank loans to pay off the medical expenses. The deux ex machina happened to be a phone call from Congress president Sonia Gandhis office instructing the Chief Minister that she would like the government to not only pay Rs 28 lakh to the hospital but also reimburse Rs 14 lakh to the family. Within minutes,Siddaramaiah government was singing a different tune,announcing its decision to pay the medical expenses and adding the good measures that Dey had sung in some Kannada movies as well.
Making of a Manifesto
Rahul Gandhi has declared that the Congress would seek feedback from people as to what they wish to see in the Congress manifesto. At a recent manifesto committee meeting,Jairam Ramesh informed that Rahul has also decided to visit six places across the country to get direct feedback from the people.
Manifesto committee members would subsequently be sent to hold Town Hall type meetings to gather peoples wishes. These moves with an obvious element of drama in them are drawing cryptic smiles from party
President Pranab Mukherjee is said to be upset about the delay in sending Cabinet decisions to Rashtrapati Bhavan and has conveyed the same to the right quarters. The entire process,involving the Cabinet Secretariat and the Prime Ministers Office,takes about nine days. While the President,who has decades of experience in the government,is conscious of the time-consuming due process,said sources,he is of the view that at least important decisions could be communicated to him immediately.
Showcasing the Hills
With the Trinamool Congress perceived to be gaining in strength in the Darjeeling hills,the Mamata Banerjee government has suddenly woken up to the tourism potential of the region. Mamata has asked her state tourism minister to secure West Bengals participation in the World Travel and Tourism Festival in London later in the year and highlight the potential of Darjeeling to the international crowd. The instruction is to showcase the hills as a peaceful and serene place for tourists.
Along with Darjeeling,the Sundarbans and other tourist hotspots of Bengal will also be highlighted.
Bonus add on
The Railways may have given bonus to its staff for the festival season,but it turns out that it was not enough for quite a few working in the Railway Board,especially serving at the various cells of the Railway Minister and the Ministers of State. It is learnt that a list of around 300 staff was prepared recently and the ministers have granted Rs 10,000 to each one on the list from the Railways coffers.