IT IS rare when the Opposition does not mind the Speaker’s generosity towards the treasury benches. Debate on admissibility of adjournment motion on Uma episode on Thursday in the State Assembly was one such occasion. Uma is no longer member of the House, so it was believed that the members would desist from levelling wild allegations against her.
They were supposed to be confined to the issue that was whether the government bungled in providing security to the former CM during the campaigning in Bada Malehra.
Conventionally, a person not member of the House cannot be reviled in the House. But nobody objected to Uma being mercilessly pilloried by the ministers who, only a couple of years ago, were seen vying with one another to touch her feet in the same House. The ministers who had been denied this privileged status by Uma were particularly acerbic. Of course, the no-holds-barred fulmination suited the Opposition fine. But the Speaker seemed to be equally amused.
Lobbying with Buaji
A number of retired bureaucrats and also those nearing retirement age are visiting leader of Opposition Jamuna Devi, of late. They are the ones lobbying for the post of Chief Information Commissioner (CIC).
And Jamuna Devi is one of the three members of the committee, which is to select CIC. The other two are the Chief Minister and Public Relations Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
Former chief minister Digvijay Singh’s advice to newly-elected Lok Sabha member from Vidisha, Rampal Singh, is to be prepared to carry his own suitcase at Delhi station when he goes for the first time in the new capacity. Singh had cautioned about this even before Rampal Singh was yet to be elected.
Digvijay Singh recalled his own experience. Prior to his election to Lok Sabha in 1984, Digvijay Singh was minister in Arjun Singh’s cabinet. In that capacity whenever he went to Delhi, government attendant and car would come to receive him at railway station or airport. When he went to Delhi as an MP for the first time, Digvijay looked out for car as usual. But there was no such facility. Eventually, he took suitcase in his hand and hired an auto-rickshaw for MP Bhawan.
Commerce Minister Babulal Gaur last week called a meeting of top officials to discuss Bhopal master plan. The Chief Secretary was also to attend the meeting. But, Secretary, Urban Administration Department, Sewaram informed Gaur on phone that the meeting had been cancelled. Gaur was furious. “Who is Chief Secretary? He has no right to cancel the meeting”, the former CM fumed.
Witnessing Gaur’s angry mood, the meeting was organised and Chief Secretary Rakesh Sahni along with other bureaucrats attended it. But the ambience in the meeting was far from cordial. Some officers even raised question on locus standi of the Commerce Minister in convening a meeting on Bhopal development.
Out of focus
In the hubbub in BJP over victories in Vidisha and Malehra, State BJP president Satyanarayan Jatia is virtually out of focus. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh is being hailed as the real architect of the victories. Others who have been given credit are Anil Dave and Arvind Bhadoria. But none of the BJP leaders seems to think that Jatia too deserve some credit. Probably they are right. The State BJP president’s role was very limited in the party’s strategies for the by-elections. It seems the party has already made up its mind that since Jatia’s days as State chief are numbered, it is better to ignore him.
Contributed by Rakesh Dixit, Manish Dixit, Ashutosh Shukla