Tale of Two Secretaries
The Ministry of Home Affairs is in a unique situation; it has two secretary-level officials, Rajiv Mehrishi and Ashok Prasad. Prasad, who has been given the charge of the crucial internal security division, is not an additional secretary like his predecessors handling the same portfolio, and was appointed secretary. An Andhra Pradesh IPS officer shifted from IB, he has been asked to focus on the Northeast states and “Naxal territory”. Meanwhile, Vijay Kumar, a retired Tamil Nadu cadre IPS officer who is Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s advisor on Left-Wing Extremism, has been operating from Chennai. Seems he prefers to function from his home ground.
The outbursts from local BJP leaders in Bihar post its debacle in the Assembly elections seem to have emboldened other state units. The BJP Tamil Nadu ‘sangathan’ is up in arms against Asheervatham Achary, a CBI witness in the 2G case who had served as APS to A Raja during his infamous stint as telecom minister. Achary had made a lateral entry into BJP, not ever having put in grassroot-level work in party building. BJP leaders in the state are upset that he wormed his way into RSS and has been carrying tales about them to the Sangh top-brass.
Back to Basics
Worried that his utility in NDA may be over after his party’s abysmal performance in Bihar polls, Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan is reading the Constitution of India to figure out if LJP can speak its mind during the two-day discussion on the Constitution in Parliament’s Winter Session, without offending ally BJP. The first two days of the coming session have been specially set aside for such a debate to mark B R Ambedkar’s death centenary on December 6.
Rahul’s Holiday Revelation
Much was speculated about the Congress vice-president’s sudden disappearance during a crucial Parliament session. Where did he go? Rahul disclosed that he had spent a month in Vipassana meditation and then travelled around South East Asia, especially Myanmar and Vietnam, to figure out China’s impact on these countries and the pace of their development. The reason he was incommunicado was the SPG, which does not allow him to interact with locals freely.
Prashant Kishore, Nitish Kumar’s poll campaign manager, is the talk of the town. While his meeting with Arun Shourie—the alleged author of the letter BJP veterans shot off to the party—is cause of much speculation, in Congress circles it’s being recounted how he used to be a regular at Rahul Gandhi’s Tughlaq Road house till the two fell out and he switched camps. So, Congress CMs hoping to engage Kishore for their Assembly polls better think twice.