Delhi confidential: Birds and buzz
Hosting a high tea at his residence on Monday afternoon as part of pre-Diwali celebrations, Union minister Nitin Gadkari flew in cooks from his hometown, Nagpur, to make kanji vada and other delicacies to ensure that his guests enjoyed genuine Maharashtrian snacks. Chatting with the guests on his lawn, Gadkari gave an interesting twist to sounds of chirping birds — the apolitical birds, he pointed out, keep changing their perch from Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s residence, in front side of his bungalow, while some fly to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s residence to perch on the trees in his garden.
The delay in releasing the list of BJP candidates for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls after the party’s central election committee meeting on Sunday has triggered speculation that the party is still considering announcing a chief ministerial candidate. There is also speculation on whether Union minister J P Nadda, one of the CM hopefuls, would contest the elections. Although party leaders are tight-lipped on chances of Nadda’s candidacy, they say the delay is on finalising the women candidates. The RSS has apparently advised the BJP to field good and winnable women candidates so that the party can claim advantage on the move.
Tale Of Missing Heads
A large number of vacancies in top posts at educational institutions seems to have had the Rashtrapati Bhavan worried. Right after assuming charge as President, Ram Nath Kovind’s office is learnt to have asked the HRD Ministry for a detailed list of all educational institutions run by the Union government that do not have a chief at present. The President, by virtue of being the Visitor, is the appointing authority for all central institutions such as the IITs, NITs, etc. The President’s request had the department of higher education scrambling to put together a comprehensive list. Appointments have proved to be one of the weak points of Narendra Modi government and Kovind, it seems, is keen to fix it.