Didis dream & its dashing
Mamata Banerjees dream of expanding in the North on the back of efforts by local business tycoon K D Singh,a Trinamool Congress MP in the Rajya Sabha,hasnt quite worked out. Singh started by poaching Chief Minister B S Hoodas media advisers. One of the two dumped him within 48 hours; the other had fallen out with Hooda and had hardly any influence left. Singh then roped in the convener of the Congresss backward classes cell but not other officer-bearers,who denied any knowledge that the reason their convener had called them to the function was to join the Trinamool.
Use of time
ifs Officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi,who has kept the Hooda government on tenterhooks,has now outsmarted the government by getting it to relieve him for two months and utilising the relieving report to rejoin his parent cadre in the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The MoEF has also left it at the disposal of the Health Ministry to post him as deputy secretary,AIIMS. Chaturvedi,transferred 12 times in 12 years in Haryana,had blown the whistle on corruption and several other issues in the state.
The Punjab Congress,which is otherwise always at loggerheads with its Haryana counterpart over various issues,especially those pertaining to river water and territorial disputes,has for once shown solidarity with it. Punjabs former finance minister Lal Singh,who opened the budget debate,began by urging Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to learn a lesson from Haryana,which had shown an excellent performance in fiscal management. Attacking the SAD-BJP alliance budget,he said Haryana,though smaller in size,is ahead of Punjab in tax collection and growth.
Austerity and after
On May 10,the government declared austerity measures asking its officers not to travel business class. In June,it revised travel facilities,allowing financial commissioners to travel business class. An IAS officer who had recently returned from a posting in Chandigarh Administration found it a volte face and mocked the government for its failure to maintain its austerity measures. What he failed to notice was the postscript – that these revised facilities will come into effect only after the austerity measures are withdrawn.