Harvard seminar beckons JD(U)’s No. 2
Poll strategist-turned-politician Prashant Kishor, widely seen as the second most important leader in the Janata Dal (United) after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, is among several eminent Indian personalities invited to the Harvard India Conference.
The 41-year-old JD(U) vice-president will deliver a talk on politics, the youth and electoral management in India at the conference in Boston to be held on February 16 and 17. Kishor’s meticulous strategies contributed to the BJP’s victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and that of the erstwhile JD(U)-RJD-Congress combine in Bihar’s 2015 Assembly polls. With the seminar’s theme being ‘India at an Inflection Point’ and 2019 being an election year, Kishor’s words there would be closely watched.
Good news for the exchequer
The New Year started with good news for Bihar’s exchequer. The taxes collected by the state’s commercial taxes department this fiscal have recorded a 38 per cent rise compared to collections during the same period in the last fiscal.
While the revenue collection target for the current fiscal is J 27,000 crore, the department succeeded in collecting J 15,466 crore till November 2018, informed deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who also holds the finance portfolio. As high as 70 per cent of all tax revenue collected by the Bihar government comes from the commercial taxes department. The number of registered tax-payers in Bihar has also risen to 3.87 lakh against 1.69 lakh registered during the VAT regime.
Shotgun loses VIP tag at airports
Dissident BJP MP and actor Shatrughan Sinha will no longer be treated as a VIP at airports. Patna’s Jay Prakash Narayan International (JPNI) Airport has stopped extending the former Union minister the facility of using a vehicle to reach the tarmac.
The move came after the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) wrote to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) saying the permission for this facility expired five months ago. An application for renewal of the permission has yielded no response from the civil aviation ministry despite three reminders. Sinha has lately been a strident critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It hardly helps that the Patna Sahib MP continues to be chairman of the Airport Advisory Committee.
DGP’s letter to cops sparks political row
A letter written by Bihar’s Director General of Police (DGP) KS Dwivedi to senior police officials about crime prevention measures landed him in a political controversy. In the letter, addressed to all the IGs, DIGs and SPs, Dwivedi had expressed dismay that the instructions he had issued in March about patrolling and erecting check-posts were yet to be complied with.
“It is a matter of regret that night patrolling is rarely done and daytime patrolling is not being conducted regularly. Consequently, criminals are daring to commit crime during daytime,” said the letter. The Opposition RJD and Congress used the episode to target CM Nitish Kumar, who holds the home portfolio. Dwivedi however, said it was a “routine letter”.