A timely gesture
Planning Commission deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia, a veteran in dealing with chief ministers, was in for a surprise last week when Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav turned up for a meeting much before the scheduled time of appointment. Yadav, who was meeting Ahluwalia for the first time since taking over as CM, reached his office 45 minutes early for the meeting. Since CMs usually arrive just on time for meeting or a few minutes late, Ahluwalia’s office had to make frantic calls to inform him that Yadav was waiting for him in his office. While he was waiting for Ahluwalia, plan panel member Sayeeda Hamid gave Yadav company and some valuable inputs on minority affairs till the boss returned. When you need funds urgently…
A fan like no other
Bollywood’s first superstar Rajesh Khanna, who was an ardent Congressman, has a huge fan base within his party. As a tribute to the actor, Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh played popular songs from Khanna’s movies in his office the day the actor died. Ramesh, who was in his early 20s during 1970-71 when Khanna’s career peaked, claims that he has watched each and every movie of the superstar at least thrice. From climate change to sanitation to Bollywood, Ramesh is surely a man of many parts.
Searching for friends
Of late, a couple of MPs have been upset with human resource development minister Kapil Sibal because of his refusal to favour their recommendations in admissions or jobs in publicly-funded schools and colleges. But with eight Bills of his ministry stuck at various stages in Parliament, Sibal is now trying to impress upon the MPs that he’s indeed their friend. For starters, Sibal has increased the MP recommendation quota in Kendriya Vidyalayas and has been meeting Opposition leaders including the BJP’s Sushma Swaraj to try and win support for his Bills. He sure knows how to please.
He is not one to give up
The elections to the posts of president and vice-president can be a tricky affair for the returning officers: the secretaries general of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. According to the rulebook, anyone who wants to fill up the nomination form has to be escorted from Parliament gate and must be allowed to fill the form irrespective of whether he/she fulfils the eligibility criteria. One such aspirant was the 90-year-old former Congress Rajya Sabha MP Santokh Singh, who was elected to the Upper House in 1962. He visited Parliament, saying he wanted to contest for both posts. Though he did not contest finally, he gave the staff a tough time.