CM Palaniswami didn’t like when health secretary Beela Rajesh won accolades
Two weeks after IAS officer Beela Rajesh was shunted out as Tamil Nadu’s health secretary, it has emerged that a spike in Covid-19 cases was not the only reason for her transfer — there is politics behind it too.
The grapevine has it that the 1997-batch IAS officer and qualified doctor was seen as Tamil Nadu Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar’s confidante. Another disadvantage: Her mother, Rani Venkatesan, is a senior Congress leader and former MLA who had lost to a senior leader of the ruling AIADMK in the last assembly elections in 2016. In fact, senior Congress leader and former Union finance minister P. Chidambaram had tweeted in praise of Beela Rajesh, for her clarity and confidence in briefing the media.
Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami had pulled Vijayabaskar out of the daily media briefings in April as the flamboyant minister was growing popular for his efficient Covid management. Vijayabaskar then decided to maintain a low profile and stay away from the media glare.
The CM then got Beela Rajesh to deal with the media, but rumours have it that he was disturbed by the accolades she too received for the efficient administrative response to the Covid-19 crisis.
The CM’s spin doctors had justified Beela’s transfer, claiming he was upset with her “lack of expertise and autocratic attitude”. She was blamed for lack of coordination among the
departments of police, labour, revenue and disaster management. She was also blamed for not consulting her colleagues while taking decisions.
CWC sings same old RaGa amid discussion on India-China tensions
The latest meeting of the Congress’ top decision-making body, the Congress Working Committee, called to discuss the India-China border tensions, turned into a chorus for bringing Rahul Gandhi back as party president.
Many leaders were, however, irritated by the familiar “drama”. They said this has become a norm for all such party meetings, ensuring that pressing issues have to take a back seat.
“I would have been surprised if they hadn’t asked him to take over again,” a CWC member said in confidence.
Some CWC members were also peeved with senior leader and former defence minister A.K. Antony’s supposedly informative presentation on India-China tensions. They thought he just “wasted” their time with “his GK (general knowledge)”, which was “nothing more than what’s coming in the newspapers daily”.
Politicians literally let their hair down after lockdown
The unavailability of barbers and salons under the lockdown hasn’t just had an impact on the layperson, but also on the hairstyle of our politicians. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been donning a new hairstyle for the past couple of months — parted prominently on the left and tucked behind his ear, a striking difference from his earlier short hair.
PM Narendra Modi, too, is wearing a longer beard and moustache. Some strands of the moustache, in fact, seem to be hanging, sometimes. Ordinarily, PM Modi’s beard is very snug and well-groomed.
Hair-humour has also been doing the rounds among other politicians, with Congress leader and former Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh engaging in banter with his party colleague Rajeev Gowda.
Last month, Rajeev Gowda posted a picture with former PM H.D. Deve Gowda wishing him a happy birthday.
Ramesh self-deprecatingly mocked Rajeev Gowda’s out-of-proportion hair, saying: “few more days and your hair style will resemble mine Rajeev!! (sic).”
few more days and your hair style will resemble mine Rajeev!! greetings to Deve Gowdaji. https://t.co/hk8hUIALQK
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) May 18, 2020