Off The Record

Off The Record

Naughty boy of Congress

Is Union environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh a ‘naughty boy’ of Congress?

As Congress finds it difficult to control the outspoken minister whose comments on IITs and IIMs not having world-class faculty leading to a fierce debate in the country, a senior party leader has described him as ‘naughty boy’ of Congress.

Although, the leader, who did not want to be quoted, said there was no need for the minister to comment on every issue under the sun. He remarked that Ramesh’s comments are in any case not taken very seriously many times by the party. The same has happened in the case of comments on IITs and IIMs too, he says.

However, Ramesh’s comments led to a debate on the reputation of the institutions forcing HRD minister Kapil Sibal to come up with data to prove that these institutes are world class.

Khalid Akhter, New Delhi

Unbiased verdict

It was a case of one Ganguly appreciating another. Justice A K Ganguly, who wrote a judgment quashing the allotment of 63.04 kathas of plot for running a school in Kolkata in 2009 to former India captain Sourav Ganguly, could not but appreciate him as a cricketer.

Justice Ganguly, speaking for the Bench also comprising Justice G S Singhvi, commended the stylish left handed batsman like any other cricket buff and as a fan. But he decided to keep his personal likes aside while performing his duty as a judge.

“I make it clear that I am aware that the allottee is a cricketer of great repute and has led this country to victory in many tournaments, both in India and abroad. I have watched him on the television on many occasions and was delighted to see his glorious cover drives and effortlessly lofted shots over the fence.”

“But as a judge, I have different duties to discharge. Here I must be objective and eschew my likes and dislikes and render justice to a cause which has come before the court,” Justice Ganguly said.

Ashish Tripathi, Kolkata

Traffic blues

British High Commissioner in India Dickie Stagg got a taste of worsening traffic system in Patna when he visited the state capital to assess different welfare schemes like sanitation, education potable water and vaccination.

The British government, through the department for international development (DFID), has provided a grant of Rs 1,000 crore to Bihar to develop supply lines for drinking water, improve sanitation and nutrition.

The British High Commissioner’s visit was to assess the ground realities. With this backdrop, he left for rural areas on the outskirts of Patna. He interacted with Musahar community (poorest among Dalits), saw their living condition and gathered other information related to them.

While returning, Stagg got stuck up in a traffic jam near Danapur bus stand for 25 minutes. The illegally parked auto-rickshaws and commercial vehicles near the bus stand led to the jam. An amused Stagg and his entourage, meanwhile, remained static.

When senior traffic police officials were pressed into service, the jam was cleared after half an hour. While one can understand what impression Stagg had about the place, but the state police headquarters has taken the incident seriously and asked the Patna SP to submit a report detailing why police officials were not monitoring VIP movement.

Abhay Kumar, Patna