(Representational image) North Block in New Delhi | Bloomberg file
(Representational image) North Block in New Delhi | Bloomberg file
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Turmoil in PIB, government’s publicity machinery

Senior information officers in the Press Information Bureau (PIB) have had a rough time since they got their new boss — Information and Broadcasting secretary Apurva Chandra, who took charge on 23 August. Many senior PIB officers have been taken aback by Chandra’s tirades against them in recent review meetings. Peeved at the working of PIB, the central government’s publicity machinery, Chandra in one such review meeting last week told senior PIB officers that they do not know their job. What has peeved a section of the officers is how in a meeting last week, which was attended among others by DG, PIB, Jaideep Bhatnagar, and several senior information officers of ADG-rank from ministries of railways, defence, home, agriculture, Chandra tried to compare their work with that of journalists in newspapers and TV channels. He wanted to know from the officers how reporters in newspapers get such good news but PIB officers fail to get information on good work being done by the government. He asked the officers questions like who do they interact with in the ministries they are incharge of, how often do they interact with ministers, secretaries and officers among others. The unprovoked tirade has not gone down well with PIB officers, who say that their work has become difficult under the present dispensation with ministers and officers more often than not reluctant to part with information. In such a scenario, there is not much they can do.

Also read: ‘Aaj phoolon ka mala, kal joote ka’ — Minister Sonowal on politicians & political fortunes

Rahul Gandhi’s wardrobe

It has been over a week since Rahul Gandhi’s two-day visit to Jammu, but Congress leaders are still talking about it — not because of his devotion to Mata Vaishno Devi but because of his attention to sartorial detail.

On a single day, Gandhi changed his outfit as many as five times. On Thursday, Gandhi arrived at the Jammu airport wearing a white kurta, where he was greeted by party workers and a local crowd.

Gandhi was slated to visit the Mata Vaishno Devi Temple at Trikuta Hills in Katra town. En route to the mandir, Gandhi was seen wearing a red half-sleeve shirt, having changed from his white kurta.


Subsequently, he switched to a black half-sleeves T-shirt, on his trek to the mandir. The Congress leader was seen walking alongside the pilgrims, treading the 14-km long uphill walk.

Then, towards the evening, for an aarti there in the evening, Gandhi again changed to a full-sleeved white kurta-pajama.

Finally, at night, on his way down from the Mata Vaishno Devi Temple, Gandhi stopped for a meal at a restaurant where he interacted and clicked selfies with the locals. This time, he was seen wearing a blue half-sleeved shirt.

On Friday, the second and last day of his visit, Gandhi addressed officer-bearers and party workers, where he exhorted them to say ‘Jai Mata Di’.

(Edited by Arun Prashanth)

Also read: BJP president Nadda gets knee replaced at Delhi’s Apollo hospital


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