Another Trinamool Congress vs Congress is brewing in the government.
Minister of state (MoS) for tourism Sultan Ahmed, a confidant of Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, has opposed the appointment of senior Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela as the head of India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), with the rank of a cabinet minister.
“It is absurd that the government has not even bothered to keep me informed about the appointment,” Ahmed, who has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, told HT.
“ITDC is a public sector undertaking under my ministry. I will complain to the PM and my party will also take up
The corporation is tasked with the development, promotion and expansion of tourism in the country and owns the Ashok Group of Hotels.
At a time when it is talking austerity, the government had created another cabinet-rank post, Ahmed said.
Tourism minister Subodh Kant Sahai couldn’t be reached for comments.
Vaghela, a former cabinet minister and an ex-CM of Gujarat, has been appointed ITDC chairman (part-time) and non-official director. “I have got the letter and will take charge next week,” he said. “I do not know about it (minister’s opposition to his appointment).”
A chairman and managing director (CMD), usually an IAS officer, used to head ITDC. The post has been split into chairman and vice-chairman-cum-MD.
This would be the first time that ITDC would be headed by a political person, Ahmed’s letter to PM says. “Ministers of state are not taken into confidence for any important government policy decision and they have virtually no work of any importance.”