Advani’s busy day


The election of the BJP president coincided with the birth anniversary of Subhas Chandra Bose. L K Advani came to the party office in the morning for the parliamentary board meeting, but soon rushed to Parliament for the celebrations. Rajnath Singh had to wait until he returned to file his nomination papers. Advani was then seen nudging Rajnath to adhere to protocol and first turn towards his predecessor Nitin Gadkari — and not him — to accept a bouquet. Rajnath complied; he, however, needed no nudging to touch the feet of Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi after accepting congratulations from them.

Diplomatic honour

Tanmaya Lal, who received the S K Singh Award for outstanding work as a diplomat, was called in by South Block from Nairobi on "temporary duty", and was told about the honour only after he reached Delhi. Lal, who topped the 1991 batch of the Indian Foreign Service, had shown extraordinary drive in evacuating 15,000 Indians stuck in Thailand due to unrest. Then commerce minister Kamal Nath and commerce secretary G K Pillai too were stranded in Pattaya, where they had gone for the ASEAN meeting. The low profile Lal is known for his administrative skills and the buzz is that he might get a more challenging posting than his current position as the deputy chief of mission in Kenya.

Officer gone, case on

With the change of guard in Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati's cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar is largely forgotten. But not by the Department of Personnel & Training — which, as the cadre controlling authority for civil servants, continues to be involved in a case challenging Shekhar's appointment before the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court. The reminder comes at a cost: DoPT's Lucknow-based lawyer has sent a bill of Rs 11.88 lakh, out of which DoPT has already coughed up Rs 6.52 lakh.

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