Monsoon Clouds

Delhi Confidential

WHILE it became known only on Monday evening that NCP chief Sharad Pawar had recused himself from an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on 2G, the signs were visible in the morning itself. The EGoM meeting, slated for Monday, was on the list of Pawar's daily appointments, but soon after coming to office, he asked his staff to ask the officials of the Met department to brief him on the status of monsoon, which has been deficient so far, and its implications on the kharif crops. The timing he gave to the Met officials coincided with the slot that was fixed for EGoM meeting. It was only then that the staff realised that something was amiss. But the confirmation about Pawar's pull out came only in the evening. Incidentally, Pawar was said to be happy with what the Met officials told him that despite a 31 per cent shortfall in rains in June, the forecast for July and August was good and there was unlikely to be much adverse impacts on the crops.

Branching Out

THE National Investigation Agency, created in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack case, is expanding its organisation at the rapid case, as it deals with more and more terror-related cases. It already has a presence in Hyderabad while a branch was opened in Guwahati last year. It is now in the process of opening field offices in Lucknow, Mumbai and Kochi. The agency recently reached out to the state governments of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra to facilitate the setting up of offices in their capitals. These field offices will cater to the NIA cases which are registered in those regions. The agency also plans to transfer the investigations of old cases to these field offices.

Costly Move

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