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The driving force

The Food and Civil Supplies department, behold, is in news for reasons other than shortage of kerosene or poor quality of food grains this time.

mumbai Updated: Jan 02, 2010 01:36 IST
Shailesh Gaikwad

The Food and Civil Supplies department, behold, is in news for reasons other than shortage of kerosene or poor quality of food grains this time.

The babus in the Mantralaya these days are talking about the department’s zeal in carrying out the ration card verification drive. Those in the know say that the sudden enthusiasm has something to do with a plan, resulting in a multi-crore rupee contract, to provide ‘electronic ration cards’. Somebody seems to be in a hurry to get the contract, oops, plan on track!

Rural urban link

One doesn’t quite understand what the Democratic Front government was thinking of when it appointed Rural Development Minister Jayant Patil as the guardian minister of Mumbai island city.

It is perplexing why a Rural Development Minister has been entrusted with looking after the development schemes of Mumbai’s island city that includes south Mumbai, India’s most urbanised area. It would be interesting to see how Jayant Patil manages two extremes — looking after a rural project in, say, remote Parbhani on one hand and oversee some elaborate city plan in Malabar Hill.

Perhaps his upbringing in south Mumbai will help in the latter.

Loyal to the core?

Is Samajwadi Party’s state chief Abu Azmi trying to emulate his party boss Mulayam Singh Yadav in every way? First, Azmi contested Assembly elections from two seats — Bhiwandi and Mankhurd in Mumbai — just like Yadav does. Following his footsteps further, Azmi has introduced son Farhaan in politics, just like Yadav introduced his son Akhilesh as his heir apparent. Since Azmi had to resign from one of the two assembly seats he won, Azmi has given up Bhiwandi and fielded son Farhaan from there. Such a loyalist.

Building bridges

This is the classic case of love-hate relationship in politics.

The only minister whom Sena Chief Bal Thackeray loved during the Sena-BJP government’s tenure was Nitin Gadkari.

As the PWD minister, Gadkari turned Thackeray’s dream project of Mumbai-Pune expressway into a reality. The relationship turned sour when, as the BJP state chief, Gadkari demanded a larger share of assembly seats from the Sena. Gadkari was soon erased from Matoshree’s list of favoured few.

But things changed. Gadkari became the BJP’s national president and Sena could not ignore him. So, when Gadkari called on Thackeray last week, he got the tiger’s blessings. Thackeray also said that the ‘flyover man’ would strengthen the ‘flyover of friendship’ between the two parties.