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Sibal’s silent solutions

For a mother who lost a daughter in the Leh floods, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal has ensured that her other daughter doesn’t lose out on schooling.

india Updated: Aug 30, 2010 22:58 IST

Sibal’s silent solutions

For a mother who lost a daughter in the Leh floods, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal has ensured that her other daughter doesn’t lose out on schooling. The mother was afraid that her surviving daughter would be unable to reach Chandigarh in time for admissions to the Navodaya Vidyalayas (NV) due to the floods. So Sibal asked his officers to extend the admissions deadline. The NV were also asked to provide travel assistance to the girl, apart from a one-time compensation for her deceased sister — who was also a NV student. Sibal didn’t want his actions highlighted through any press statement. But good deeds rarely remain hidden.

The English namesake

It’s common knowledge in the Lok Sabha that Alagiri doesn’t speak English. So it came as a surprise when an English speech followed the chair calling Alagiri. Congress MP from Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, S.S. Alagiri shares his surname with Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister M.K. Alagiri. While the latter can speak reasonably good English, his namesake had been keeping away from Parliament, as he is not comfortable speaking in English or Hindi. Last week, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.K. Bansal was visibly surprised to hear Alagiri speak in English during zero hour. Bansal couldn’t believe his ears and looked behind to see who this Alagiri was. Unable to place the Congress MP, he was seen sifting through the pages of the Lok Sabha directory to find out about his party colleague.

Sushma’s sartorial shades

A disciplinarian to the core, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj reflects this trait in her wardrobe too. She matches the colour of her sartorial attire with the day of the week. For instance, it’s a shade of yellow for Thursday. Swaraj apparently finds this arrangement convenient, as it allows her to keep in her cupboard just seven stacks from which she must pick her attire of the day. It also makes it easy for those who pack for her frequent political tours outside Delhi.

Rallying for the post

Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee has hand-picked an officer for a key position in the Railway Board, but has held back from ordering his transfer. Reason: his wife had been spotted in a couple of rallies organised by the Trinamool Congress during elections to the local bodies in West Bengal some months ago. Rather than risk another political controversy at this stage, Banerjee has had the post kept vacant for now. But as decision has been made, it is only a matter of time before the said official takes charge of his new assignment.

One too many here

The Left parties were curiously trying to find the MP who voted with them on an amendment moved during the passage of the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill in the Lok Sabha. The failed amendment got 25 votes in its favour, one more than the strength of the Left in the House. During the Iftaar hosted by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, in the presence of the prime minister and the Congress president, jokingly asked his bitter rival Mamata Banerjee whether she was the one. Banerjee ducked the question and invited Yechury to join them at the table. Later it turned out that the extra vote came from the Biju Janata Dal.