MADE IN WELHAMS & DOON
It’s a political alliance with a difference. Former Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh’s grandson Nirvan is engaged to marry Dr Karan Singh’s granddaughter Mriganka. Both the grandfathers are Congressmen and both have studied at the elite Doon School in Dehra Dun. But what is even more interesting is that both Nirvan’s mother Jaya and Mriganka’s mom Chitrangada are classmates from the prestigious Welham Girls’ School, also in Dehra Dun, and remain close friends even today. Some would say this was a marriage made in Welhams and Doon.
AN OOPS MOMENT
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh of the Congress and his son were caught napping at a public event recently. The picture is now in circulation on social media, put up by rival BJP leaders in the state. But Virbhadra cannot afford to be caught napping. For if the buzz is right, HP is the next target on BJP’s list of soft-Congress ruled states. Buoyed by the toppling of Congress CMs in Arunanchal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the HP state BJP is looking for chinks in Virbhadra’s armour to destabilise the old war horse.
AAP IN GOA?
While all eyes are on the Aam Admi Party’s performance in Punjab, there is another state where the party is making quiet inroads, the western state of Goa. Again, there is no state leader from AAP to lead the movement there, but it seems as if the Goans, like the Delhiites, want to experiment with a non BJP, non Congress party. With elections in Goa due in 2017, both the Congress and the BJP would be well advised to focus on this state as well while strategising for UP and Punjab.
TWITTER TO YOU TUBE TO CHANNELS?
The Prime Minister recently told his ministers not just to be more active on Twitter but also asked them to start YouTube channels to publicise and debate the work undertaken by their ministries. Apart from the ministers, even the bureaucrats have been asked to make presentations of policies and decisions. Three ministers, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari and Venkaiah Naidu are the first off the block and have already launched their ministries on YouTube; some others have begun trial runs.
But what is even more interesting is, according to sources, the Cabinet Secretariat is mulling over a proposal to direct the I&B Ministry to issue TV channel licences to all the ministries, on the same guidelines as Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TV channels. The Finance and Shipping Ministries have already begun the ground work for this. There is even talk of a special satellite for these channels. Clearly, the idea is to channel the right message.