Tuesday, Sep 27, 2022

Mumbai Confidential: Command Performance

One of the reasons that weighed on the government while returning the proposal for setting up a strike corps in the East was the initial note by the then Army Chief Gen V K Singh.

One of the reasons that weighed on the government while returning the proposal for setting up a strike corps in the East was the initial note by the then Army Chief Gen V K Singh. It now turns out that he wanted the new corps to be kept under direct command of the Chief of Army Staff and outside the control of Eastern Command. This was struck down by the Defence Ministry itself,but it was enough to raise doubts in the minds of decision makers. Subsequent developments involving the former Army Chief cemented the view that this proposal needed a fresh relook.

Lonely at the Top

Not long back,the then troubleshooter of the ruling coalition at the Centre was longing to get a break from the hurly-burly of politics to relax,read books and write memoirs. Barely weeks into his stint in Rashtrapati Bhawan,Pranab Mukherjee seems to be missing the action. He has been telling his former Congress colleagues how he misses those telephone calls and meetings that kept him occupied all day. They have little advice to offer though. Mukherjee’s loneliness is compounded by the fact that as the President he cannot pick up the phone and call anyone up directly. Neither can anyone else speak to him directly.

Iftar Politics

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The presence of UPA parliamentary managers at the Iftar party hosted by BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain left no doubt about the importance of the Opposition in a divided House where the ruling coalition enjoys majority by a thin margin. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal and his deputy in the Rajya Sabha V Narayanasamy made it a point to be present at the Iftar,despite the fact that it was a Friday and the two leaders invariably leave for their constituencies on weekends. Bansal had in fact skipped the Independence Day celebrations in the Capital,opting instead to attend local functions in Chandigarh. The other interesting presence at Shahnawaz’s Iftar was a full turnout by the NCP top brass. Party president Sharad Pawar,his close aide Praful Patel,Tariq Anwar and D P Tripathi were all there. Who knows which way the results go in 2014.

Mistaken Identity

Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed was travelling in a train last week when late in the evening he started getting calls asking his well-being. Some even told him that news of his death was being flashed on television channels. The TV was actually reporting the death of his namesake,JD(U) leader Shakeel Ahmed Khan,who was being mistaken for Shakeel Ahmed. The Congress leader joked with a few of them but the constant phone calls kept him awake through most of the night.

Copyright Carousel

Thanks to his relentless efforts,lyricist and Rajya Sabha MP Javed Akhtar was able to ensure the passage of the Copyright (Amendment) Act in the last session of Parliament. But the implementation of the law is another story altogether. And Akhtar is having to renew his efforts all over again. He is now seen doing the rounds of the HRD Ministry,trying to bring to the notice of Minister Kapil Sibal and his bureaucrats how music companies are still not giving artists their due and are finding new ways to block the sharing of royalty. The ministry is learnt to have taken note of the issues raised by the well known lyricist and has assured him that it will take care of this aspect when it finalises the rules of the Act.

First published on: 20-08-2012 at 02:51:39 am
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