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When actor Aamir Khan approached the government a few months back requesting that his then yet-to-start programme Satyamev Jayate be aired on Doordarshan as well, not many in the I&B Ministry were very enthusiastic. The programme was commissioned for a private broadcaster and some were of the view that the actor was only trying to get a wider coverage for his show. The then Information and Broadcasting minister Ambika Soni, however, is learnt to have a different view and thought that the programme would raise awareness and serve public purpose. The show used to finally air on Doordarshan simultaneously with the private channel. But as it turned out, most of the episodes of the shows actually painted the government in very poor light. Worse, Aamir Khan appeared on stage at the Anna Hazare show at Ramlila grounds last year. The buzz now is that one of the reasons for Soni's ouster from the Cabinet could be this ill-advised decision of hers.
Pallam Raju was hailed as a 'man of science' when it was announced he would take over the HRD Ministry from Kapil Sibal. The minister with the engineering background, however, turns out to be a man of superstition as well. Choosing to take charge two days after the swearing in — at an auspicious time and after an elaborate puja at his office in Shastri Bhawan — Raju has also had his office furniture placed keeping in mind Vaastu considerations. Reversing the placement of the ministerial desk — west facing for Kapil Sibal — Raju's now stands in the auspicious South West corner, facing the East for luck and power.
Too Many Bosses
WHEN it comes to dealing with multiple authorities, Rajiv Shukla has an unenvious job at hand. With the addition of Planning portfolio in the latest Cabinet reshuffle, the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs has three additional bosses to report to — Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and new Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal. In his capacity as BCCI vice-president, Shukla already reports to its president N Srinivasan and also has to work closely with senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley who is head of Delhi District Cricket Association. While Congress president Sonia Gandhi remains the supreme leader, Shukla has many other party bosses to report to in the multi-layered chain of command in the Congress hierarchy.
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