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Not quite at home on this

Home secretary Madhukar Gupta’s term comes to an end on March 31, but the government has not announced a successor yet. This has led to speculation that it may leave the decision to the next government.

india Updated: Mar 15, 2009 22:39 IST

Home secretary Madhukar Gupta’s term comes to an end on March 31, but the government has not announced a successor yet. This has led to speculation that it may leave the decision to the next government. Before the 2004 elections, the NDA government had appointed Kamal Pandey as cabinet secretary. He was removed by the UPA government within months. Gupta, 62, however, is already on an extended two-year tenure.

Seeing Red at the reading

A Bihar IPS officer who began praising CEC N. Gopalaswamy at an official meeting was snubbed by EC Navin Chawla. At a recent meeting to review election preparedness in Patna, the officer in question had brought a Tamil article written by Gopalaswamy and began reading it out. Chawla cut him short and asked him to get down to business.

Keeping up the family front

Leaders of the Third Front that has been formed once again are happy to be in the media limelight. They are trying to steal the thunder from one another in giving sound to journalists. They are ready to speak on all issues, barring the leadership one. Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda won the first round by quickly announcing the rally for the launch of the Front. Top Left leaders were not amused by the ‘self-styled convenor’ of the Front. One of them was heard complaining — a party with three MPs wants the father as prime minister and his son as an important minister. Why are others required then? he quipped.

Parity doesn’t begin at home

Fathers have often sought tickets for their sons. But in a complete reversal of this trend, Ketan Patel, the territorial Congress chief of Daman, argued strongly against his father Dayabhai Patel’s renomination. “I alone can win,’’ he told the Congress’s Central Election Committee recently. Congress President Sonia Gandhi and other CEC members could only wonder why, if he was so confident of his own victory, he couldn’t help his father, a sitting MP, win. Perhaps sensing the panel’s mood, Ketan has now withdrawn his claim to the seat but not before the CEC’s Ram Naresh Yadav remarked “Kalyug mein kya kya ho raha hai? (what is happening in this Kalyug?)”

It’s become a relative rush

There are several new claimants among Congressmen and their relatives for tickets this time, with some of them even looking beyond their state for it. Union Minister Arjun Singh wants his son and daughter accommodated in Madhya Pradesh. Anil Shastri, son of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, wants a nomination either from Indore or Bhopal, the constituency that Prasar Bharati chief Arun Bhatnagar is also pitching for. AICC secretary Dalbir Singh is a contender for West Delhi along with Alka Lamba, Mukesh Sharma and Brij Mohan Bhama. Himachal Pradesh’s Chandresh Kumari wants to contest from Jodhpur in Rajasthan. K. Thangkabalu has ruled himself out but is lobbying hard for a ticket for his wife in Tamil Nadu… The list is endless.