Muted Reaction

Delhi Confidential

In this season of corruption allegations, one would have assumed the BJP would make some show about the bail granted to its former president Bangaru Laxman, who was convicted of accepting bribe in a television sting more than a decade ago. But as it nervously awaits the next round of corruption exposes from Arvind Kejriwal and his group, widely anticipated to be about some top leader from the BJP, the party remained largely muted on the development regarding Laxman. A section of the mid-rung party leaders, however, ensured that there was some sort of celebration on Laxman's bail. So a large billboard expressing "Hardik Abhinandan (hearty welcome)" to Laxman was erected outside the BJP headquarters on Saturday. The billboard has pictures of party general secretary Thawar Chand Gehlot, spokesperson Ramnath Kovind, and president of the party's Scheduled Caste unit Dushyant Gautam. Photos of more prominent leaders, and even the customary images of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L K Advani or Nitin Gadkari on such cutouts, is understandably missing.

Director's Cut

Getting a director for IIT Kanpur is proving trickier than usual. Prof Indranil Manna has been announced as a successor to Prof S G Dhande and was to take over by September 30, but he has not been able to take charge because his current organisation, the CSIR, is loathe to see him go. Manna has been heading the Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute since 2010 and CSIR, under which this laboratory functions, has been claiming that several significant projects would suffer with the departure of Manna to the IIT. The HRD Ministry, on the other hand, feels that the students of IIT Kanpur are suffering in the absence of proper leadership. The tug-of-war has remained unresolved so far.

Whistleblower's Fate

Haryana cadre IAS officer Ashok Khemka, who is in the news for his abrupt transfer apparently for blowing the whistle on the alleged arbitrary transfer of panchayat land to realtors by the state government in Haryana is no stranger to controversies or transfers. He has been transferred 43 times in 21 years of service and been posted on positions which are not even meant for IAS officers. The Om Prakash Chautala government had once transferred him three times within a week and even taken away his official car, apparently because he had opposed the mid-session transfer of school teachers by the chief minister's office.

... contd.


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