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  Cycling for a ticket

Cycling for a ticket

Published : Feb 8, 2016, 5:21 am IST
Updated : Feb 8, 2016, 5:21 am IST

Waiting for a director


Waiting for a director

The Aam Aadmi Party government has not given charge of the director of local bodies — responsible for coordination with the three municipal corporations in Delhi — to any officer ever since senior bureaucrat Chetan Bhushan Sanghi proceeded on a long leave about two months ago.


Mr Sanghi, who had been heading several key departments, including the local bodies had proceeded on leave as he was “upset” over the treatment meted out to him by the AAP administration. Soon after municipal employees went on strike to protest the non-payment of their salaries, the administration woke up to the need for an officer to coordinate with the civic bodies to end the stalemate.

While the scope of authority of the director is not wide enough to permit him to frame rules, regulations and bylaws needed by the three corporations to perform their duties, he is empowered to decide in the interim utilisation of various assets of the corporation.


Seats of neglect Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. And it seems thrones of power can also cause discomfort. This seems to have acquired a literal meaning in case of at least two ministers in the National Democratic Alliance government.

A high-back cushion chair meant for minister of steel and mines Narendra Singh Tomar, adorns a pride of place in the visitors’ waiting room in the steel ministry’s office in Udyog Bhavan. When enquired about the chair occupying unnecessary space in the modest room, insiders quipped that the chair was originally meant for minister’s use, but he apparently found it uncomfortable owing to a back problem.


After using it for a few days, Mr Tomar discarded it and, therefore, it is lying unused in the visitors’ room. Similarly, another high-back cushion chair occupies space in the waiting room of the petroleum ministry. After some probing, ministry wallahs informed that one of the chair’s wheels has broken and it awaits repair.

However, the chair in question does not seem to be a favourite of petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan and, therefore, nobody in the ministry seems to be in a hurry to get it repaired.

A cricket expo Auto Expo 2016 saw a number of former and current cricketers attending car launches. Virat Kohli, India’s Test cricket captain, was present during the Audi launch. Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar came for BMW. Cricketer Zaheer Khan and former cricketer Mohinder Amarnath were present during Nissan’s car launch. Cricketer Piyush Chawla was also present.


“I thought BMW was organising a cricket match as so many cricketers have come here,” said Mr Tendulkar on a lighter note.

Sleepless nights in U.P. The Arrest of Yadav Singh, suspended chief engineer of Noida and Yamuna Expressway Authority, by the Central Bureau of Investigation in a corruption case may be the first real legal step in bringing him to book. But this is likely to leave several top politicians in Uttar Pradesh squirming in their seats. Mr Singh had allegedly acquired huge movable and immovable assets, disproportionate to his known sources of income because he was well connected with virtually the “who’s who” of the state.


“Investigations by the CBI will certainly reveal Mr Singh’s ‘good associations’ with senior leaders of major political parties of Uttar Pradesh,” said a Congress leader, adding that he was certain about some political leaders from Uttar Pradesh getting sleepless nights.

Kejriwal’s love for Delhi It is said that politicians cannot remain away from politics for very long. Despite being on a 10-day sabbatical to Bengaluru, ostensibly for treatment of his chronic cough, Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has been keeping up with political happenings in the national capital through the microblogging site Twitter.


With politics at its peak over the issue of MCD workers’ strike, Mr Kejriwal announced his government’s attempts at ending a stalemate through series of tweets.

He also seems to have taken keen interest in other happenings and reacted through Twitter to the alleged beating up of students in front of RSS headquarters by the Delhi police.

Seems that Mr Kejriwal may have been away from Delhi but his heart is still into tracking all political moves being made in the capital’s political scene.

Divided on Airlift Such is the impact of Bollywood that even governments are forced to react. Recently, the ministry of external affairs was not too pleased with the narration of events of the 1990 evacuation of Indians from Kuwait in the Akshay Kumar-starrer Airlift.


Apparently, the film showed the conduct of some Indian diplomats at that time to be lethargic. Obviously, this did not go down well with the MEA, which said the portrayal was far from accurate.

The MEA also pointed to the stellar and provocative role played by the Indian government and diplomats at that time. But on the other hand, national carrier Air India — which had then carried out the evacuation — seemed happy with the attention given to it by the film, leading to speculation that two different wings of the government were not on the same page vis-à-vis the film.

New year in February The New Year is more than a month old, but for ticket seekers in the Samajwadi Party, the festive season never seems to end. Those aspiring for a ticket for the 2017 Assembly elections have found a new way to grab the attention of Samajwadi leaders and to ensure that they make it to the final list.


The aspirants are getting themselves clicked on bicycles and these photographs are enlarged into posters and hoardings, and strategically planted on VIP routes, with a caption that says, “Wishing all a very Happy New Year.” The entire route from the SP office to the airport is plastered with such hoardings.

One such aspirant helpfully explained that since the cycle was the election symbol of the ruling party and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav promoted cycling in a big way, getting a photograph clicked on a cycle was the best way to grab his attention. He went on to explain that since Holi was still two months away, it was a better idea to latch on to the New Year.


“I am giving my good wishes and it is never too late for that,” he quipped.