Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Delhi Confidential: The melodioud half

The rendition before the who’s who of the Marathi film industry was complete — with all gasps and ahs.

By: Express News Service |
February 23, 2015 12:57:56 am

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis could not make it to the recent Marathi International Film and Television Awards (MIFTA) function at Dubai, but his wife Amruta, who did, readily obliged the audience when she was requested to sing. Amruta, who sings rather well, rendered the famous Caravan number Piya tu ab to aaja. The rendition before the who’s who of the Marathi film industry was complete — with all gasps and ahs. The only part missing from the show was Devendra Fadnavis himself, who could have chipped in with Monica, oh my darling… which he usually does whenever his wife sings the number, at select gatherings or at home.

Congress had put P C Chacko in-charge of Delhi elections just two months before the polls as the general secretary concerned Shakeel Ahmed had sought a two-month leave to attend to his ailing wife. Ahmed is back now, but it seems Chacko will continue to hold the charge of Delhi. Ahmed, though, has retained the charge of Punjab and Haryana and started meeting leaders from these states. Chacko, meanwhile, has a new task at hand in Delhi. Because of the elections, the nationwide exercise of holding state and district-level discussions for preparing a blueprint for the Congress revival could not take place in Delhi. Chacko has begun that process, the first step of which is to constitute the state and district level committees that can participate in the discussions.

If Narendra Modi was the first Prime Minister to attend the Aero India show this year, Manohar Parrikar is probably the first Defence Minister to have spent the maximum time at this biennial event. Parrikar spent two full days at the event which had three business days. On both these days, his cavalcade left the venue around 9.30 pm, almost four hours after the day’s official closure time of 5.30 pm. He visited a number of pavilions and showed a keen interest in the exhibits, picking up brochures and making enquiries. Not surprisingly, he sought out the pavilion of the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, and asked to see the naval variant of the Tejas fighter which was on display outside. Since it was already dark by then, well past 6.30 pm, battery lights were arranged for the minister to see the fighter plane. Parrikar is learnt to have given HAL some strict deadlines for the development of the programme now.

The HRD Ministry has finally reconstituted the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) but several key vacancies in different institutions are still demanding the attention of the ministry. The posts of chairman of CBSE, director of NCERT and head of the AICTE are vacant, and so are several positions of members of ICSSR
Council, vice-chancellors of some central universities and directors of some IITs.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the star guest at Mulayam Singh Yadav’s family event at Saifai last week, the Trinamool Congress was one notable absentee. The party gave the Saifai function a miss, having decided to attend another event planned in Delhi instead. And reflecting the change in the power equations in the party, Derek O’ Brien and Abhishek Banerjee have been asked to represent Mamata Banerjee at that event, leaving out Mukul Roy, who used to be the face of the party at such social gatherings in Delhi earlier.

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