Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had kicked up a row by saying that the Home Department should have been retained by the Congress instead of giving it to the NCP in the power-sharing formula. But there are those who doubt if this would have made any difference. Take the case of transfers of Road Transport Officers,Deputy RTOs,Assistant RTOs and Inspectors. While transfer orders were issued on May 31,50 per cent of the officials refused to report for duty in their new locations. A retired official is said to have convinced the government that it should offer choices to the belligerent officials. Fresh orders were issued granting choice postings. Chavan holds the Transport portfolio. While he has been attributing his governments slow decision-making to a cautious approach adopted after the Adarsh scam,the fact is that even routine decisions keep hanging fire.
Patil learns lesson
After his remark in Hindi post-26/11 that minor incidents happen in big cities kicked up a storm,Home Minister R R Patil had stopped talking in Hindi with mediapersons. He had also hired a Hindi teacher to learn the language. After the 13/7 blasts,he has decided against talking to Marathi TV channels as well. The reason according to him is that,these,too,twist facts. A day after the blasts,when he came out of a meeting with senior police officials,the waiting TV crew wanted his reaction. He claims that he said that sometimes criminals covered up their tracks so well that investigations become difficult and time consuming. However,when he reached home,he says,he saw a TV channel running a headline that said R R Patil says cops are dumb and criminals are smart. Fearing another controversy,Patil has since decided to say just no comment in all languages.
This is not cricket
When Mumbai was rocked by three blasts at Zaveri Bazaar,Opera House and Dadar and was recovering from the shock,NCP chief Sharad Pawar,who is the Union Agriculture Minister,and Vilasrao Deshmukh,who is the Union Minister for Science and Technology and a former chief minister of the state,were camping in the metropolis for elections to the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA). Two days after the blasts,Deshmukh,who was supported by the Pawar camp,won the elections and assumed charge as the president of the MCA,defeating cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar,who was supported by the Shiv Sena. While politicians of all hues (including Sonia Gandhi,Manmohan Singh and L K Advani) made a beeline to hospitals to visit the injured in the blasts,Pawar and Deshmukh couldnt spare time from their cricketing duties.
When the Congress high command was considering the candidature of Hussain Dalwai for the Rajya Sabha (RS) seat vacated by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan,his detractors cried hoarse that a large number of Muslims in the state did not identify with him. They were referring to his socialist origins,a soft-spoken attitude and that he had joined the Congress only about a decade ago. After getting elected to the RS,Dalwai presumed that the blessings of the party leaders and his sober image had brought him victory. However,some of his party leaders are saying that one of reasons he was chosen was because he visibly looks like a Muslim. They say other Muslim leaders of the Congress are clean-shaven,while Dalwai sports a beard.