Wednesday, 29 June, 2022
HomePre-TruthGadkari’s Goa surprise leaves ministry juniors high and dry

Gadkari’s Goa surprise leaves ministry juniors high and dry

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Pre-Truth – snappy, witty and significant snippets from the world of politics and government.

Why a beach trip left road ministry officials at sea

Earlier this week, union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari thought a review of the projects under his ministry was in order now that 2019 is around the corner.

Since he was in Goa, a meeting was immediately convened there — at a plush five-star hotel, The Leela, which boasts of a 12-hole golf course and a private beach.

While the ministry’s top officials stayed at The Leela itself, their junior colleagues, daunted by the Rs 11,000-15,000/night tariff for even basic rooms, found themselves in a last-minute scramble for a room in hotels nearby.
Gadkari was only on a two-day visit to the state, which left many people wondering why the meeting was fixed at such short notice in Goa and not held in Delhi.

Naresh Agrawal’s BJP affair runs into rough weather

Finding acceptance in his new party is proving to be a struggle for former MP Naresh Agrawal, who quit the Samajwadi Party for the BJP after being denied a Rajya Sabha nomination, with the brass reportedly not giving him enough attention.

Ahead of the recent Karnataka election, Agrawal had written to the party leadership about his desire to campaign for the BJP in the state, even pledging to finance the trip with his own money. He was all set to go to Bengaluru, but the party leadership never replied and Agrawal ended up dropping the idea.

Twice bitten, upright IAS officer finds way around transfer rap

Over the past few years, Ashwini Joshi, an IAS officer of the Maharashtra cadre, has built a reputation for dealing with any irregularities with an iron hand. But there’s another thing she has learnt — how to beat the backlash her actions often trigger.

In 2016, as a collector, she was transferred from Thane to Mumbai after she took on several rich and politically influential people in a crackdown on illegal construction, encroachments, and illegal sand mining, etc. As Mumbai collector, Joshi cracked down on clubs and buildings for lease violations and pulled up builders for not paying their dues to the government, but, within a year, she was moved out of the position and appointed the state’s excise commissioner.

With her at the helm, the state excise department has launched a drive against duty evasion and duplicate liquor that raised the hackles of an influential industrialist.

The industrialist, sources said, even approached CM Devendra Fadnavis’ office to register his protests. But just as the CM’s office was contemplating another transfer for Joshi, the bureaucrat made a call to a contact in the BJP and marked herself safe.

Deprived of ‘cushy’ Goa posting, IPS officer seethes

Goa continues to be the transfer destination of choice for officers, with its reputation as a relaxed posting with added perks bolstering the appeal of its sandy beaches.

In fact, a special commissioner of police who had been eyeing the posting was so upset when he was transferred to Andaman and Nicobar instead that he got miffed when reporters called to congratulate him.

The officer has always held significant positions in Delhi Police and the petroleum ministry, with his only posting outside the national capital being a short stint in Mizoram.

That is not all, a former Delhi government anti-corruption branch chief, too, is in the race for a posting in Goa.

Why BJP insiders see a troll in Yogi Adityanath

Many in the BJP are wondering why Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath is issuing full-page newspaper advertisements that seem to do more harm than good.

This week, the Adityanath government issued an ad titled ‘Happy & Prosperous Farmers: face of New UP’, which sought to mention the various benefits it has brought to farmers, including “record payment of sugarcane price”. Ironically, the non-clearance of massive dues to sugarcane farmers was cited as one of the main reasons behind the BJP’s recent defeat in the Lok Sabha bypoll for Kairana, UP.

Just last week, the UP government, in order to praise its own performance vis-a-vis the PM’s flagship rural housing scheme, issued an ad that seemed to project its implementation nationally as well as in other BJP-ruled states in poor light. Leaders in the BJP are now joking that the Adityanath government seems to be trolling itself as well as the BJP as a whole.

Bukhari’s killing triggers re-think on security of separatists

The killing of journalist Shujaat Bukhari by militants has got the mandarins in North Block to re-think their plan to curtail the security of Kashmiri separatists and civil society members the government views as pro-separatists.

It was a lobby led by national security adviser Ajit Doval and some BJP leaders — which supports a ‘muscular policy’ on Kashmir — that had been calling for the security cover to be withdrawn before Bukhari’s killing raised questions about any such move.

The same lobby, however, continues to seek the withdrawal of the unilateral ‘Ramzan ceasefire’ after Eid.

Who exactly is the FM? Govt websites spell confusion

Is Arun Jaitley the minister of finance, or is he not? Discrepant information on two government websites has caused some serious confusion about who exactly is at the helm of the finance ministry.

While the ministry of finance website says it’s Jaitley, ‘’, the PMO-run portal that serves as a go-to guide on the distribution of ministries, identifies Piyush Goyal as the finance minister.

Railway minister Goyal was handed additional charge of finance while Jaitley was in hospital for a kidney transplant, but the latter returned home this month and is expected back at work in June-end.

(By Apurva Vishwanath, Kumar Anshuman, Manasi Phadke, Ananya Bhardwaj, Ruhi Tewari, Maneesh Chhibber)

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