Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Kiran Kumar Reddy has been making frequent trips to Delhi these days. He is desperately seeking clearance from the central leadership for a Cabinet expansion,and filling up large number of vacancies in corporations. He has got no clearance so far. The Congress high command is said to be unhappy with Reddys non-performance,which has added to the partys woes in the crucial state. This is said to be giving jitters to the Chief Minister as he flies to and fro from Hyderabad to Delhi.
THE snub to Bihar BJP leaders from the Gujarat unit,in so far as campaigning for Gujarat elections are concerned,has been widely noticed. In an effort to control some damage,the central leadership has stepped in to include its leaders from Bihar to campaign in Himachal Pradesh,the other state going to the polls. Ravi Shankar Prasad and Shahnawaj Hussain have been included in the partys list of star campaigners for Himachal Pradesh. So have Uma Bharati and Varun Gandhi,who too were left out of Gujarat list. But three of the partys chief ministers Manohar Parrikar,Arjun Munda and Jagadish Shettar have been left out. Interestingly,while the Gujarat list does not include the name of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister P K Dhumal,the Himachal list does have Narendra Modi as a star campaigner.
Getting into the groove
MORE than two months after he took over as the Union Home Minister,Sushilkumar Shinde has finally started acclimatizing himself to his job. In the last few days,Shinde has been visiting a number of border areas,to have a better understanding of the issues. The minister would be on the India-Bangladesh border near Dhubri in Assam,which was one of the areas affected by the violence in the state a couple of months back. The visit to Assam follows separate trips to Jammu and Kashmir,Ladakh region and Punjab. A visit to the Wagah border is also being planned in the near future.
RETIRED diplomats are known to take to pen and write non-fiction novels,or even poetry. But Chinmaya R Gharekhan whose last diplomatic assignment was as PMs special envoy on West Asia took the stage on Friday as a classical vocalist at a specially arranged programme at the Indian Council of Cultural Relations. A distinguished officer,he served as Advisor to former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi,and was Indias ambassador to the United Nations where he was twice President of the Security Council. Gharekhan was always interested in classical music. During his college years,he performed light classical on All India Radio and won the Saigal Memorial Trophy an inter-collegiate music competition in Mumbai. During the course of his professional career he did not have the opportunity to study extensively under a guru,but in between foreign postings,for a short while was fortunate to learn from Pandit Amarnathji. He continued to practice on his own while living abroad. Upon retirement he got guidance from the late Shanti Sharma,the well-known vocalist and principle disciple of Amarnathji. And,on Friday,he performed before a packed audience.