German Ambassador to India Michael Steiner is certainly a maverick diplomat. He got the German embassy to transport a cow all the way from Faridabad to get her to pick the possible winner of the first-ever all-German European league final. The cow,Geeta,had two food-boxes in front of her at the lush-green embassy lawns,named Champions League finalists Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund and,after some thought,picked FC Bayern Munich as the winning team. And,late on Saturday night,the prediction turned out to be right. The German envoy has already declared the holy cow as the successor to Paul,the Octopus,which used to predict winners at the last FIFA World Cup.
IN a departure from usual practice,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday took a chopper from Safdarjung airport to Palam from where he was to fly out to Tokyo on an official visit. Usually,his departures are planned for the weekend,which allows the PM to take the route via Dhaula Kuan onwards to Palam via Delhi Cantt. Monday being a working day,insiders said,Singh expressed a desire not to disturb peak hour traffic and thats how the Safdarjung plan materialised.
TOP VVIPs including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi headed to Raipur in the wake of the massive Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh,but security preparations continued to be lax in Raipur. Those accompanying the VVIPs pointed out there was no pilot car even for the Prime Minister and all the bullet-proof vehicles provided for the VVIPs were those airlifted from Delhi. A car provided to senior Congress leader Mohsina Kidwai who is a Rajya MP from the state in fact broke down in between. The 81-year-old leader had to walk about 500 yards before she was provided with another vehicle.
Eyeing CWG village
CITING a chronic shortage of official quarters,the officers of Indian Railways have urged the Railway Ministry to procure a block of flats at the Commonwealth Games Village in Delhi. In a letter to the Member (Engineering),the apex body representing Group-A officers in Railways has said the availability of the flats at the Games Village is a window of opportunity not to be missed. And that if Railways is unable to procure the flats from the DDA (which owns the property),it should get its PSUs to procure them and get them transferred to Railways later.