Break from the past

In a break from the past protocol, President Pranab Mukherjee asked Narendra Modi to sit on a chair on the right side of the President's designated seat, which is reserved for the Prime Minister, when he called on him on May 20.

Though Modi had only been elected the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party and National Democratic Allaince parliamentary group and was yet to be sworn in, Mukherjee accorded the status as a special gesture to show his appreciation for the mandate he won.

Hitherto, Modi has only sat on the left side whenever he had called on the President.

The shift from the left to right side amused the PM-elect. Mukherjee warmly said, "welcome Narendra" as Modi walked into his official chamber with a bouquet in his hand.

Modi told him that he had ensured a "decisive win" as desired by Mukherjee in his Republic Day address to the nation.

Shekhar Iyer, New DelhiChopper or bus?

Post Lok Sabha poll results, the “insecurity bug” seems to have bitten a number of ministers in the Siddaramaiah cabinet.

Ministers, who could not get leads for their party candidate in their in-charge districts, are going around stating they will resign without a moment’s hesitation if asked by the party.

Horticulture Minister Shamanur Shivashankarappa, whose son and Congress candidate S S Mallikarjun was defeated in the Lok Sabha polls in his home district Davangere, even went to the extent of stating that he will quit and immediately return home “in helicopter” if asked.

“My portfolio is not my family property”, he went on to add, replying to queries from reporters. Shivashankarappa can afford a helicopter, for his assets total around Rs 68 crore!

Minister of State for Youth Service Abhayachandra Jain also stated he was ready to quit.

BJP candidate for Dakshina Kannada Nalin Kumar Kateel had secured a huge lead in Moodbidri assembly segment represented by Jain in the recently concluded polls.

“I will submit my resignation letter and take the next KSRTC bus home”, Jain said. Jain’s preferred mode of going home is understandable for he is into transport business running a fleet of buses !

Vijesh Kamat, Bangalore

Siblings’ presence

Family members and close relatives of a chief minister attending his or her swearing-in-ceremony after an electoral victory is nothing new in India.


However, when Geeta Mehta, the writer-sister of Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik made an appearance in Raj Bhawan recently to be present with her younger brother for his oath taking function, it raised a lot of eyebrows.

For, this was perhaps for the first time, one of the two Patnaik’s siblings - Mehta and businessman elder brother Prem Patnaik - was seen at a public function along with their politician brother. 

Forget attending public meetings, both Geeta and Prem who reside outside Odisha seldom visit the state.

As it was a rare occasion, journalists tried to speak to Geeta but she remained mum except saying that Odisha has got a good chief minister. Nevertheless, rumour mills in the state capital has not stopped speculating about a “much bigger role” for her in the BJD’s scheme of things in coming days.

S T Beuria, Bhubaneswar

Left high and dry
As BJP’s PM-elect Narendra Modi has already left for Delhi with his select aides including his personal cook, many ministers and officers feel being left high and dry.

They have enough reasons to feel so - they were the select handful who had been running the Gujarat show while Modi was busy campaigning in various parts of the country. 

So, while some have been rewarded including the new CM Anandiben Patel, it is a section of the bureaucracy which is feeling the heat.

They had worked hard to ensure that no files remain pending and worked towards the implementation of the former CM’s pet project but they now realise with the appointment of the new CM, they are left powerless and removed from their pet projects.

Swati Bhan, Ahmedabad

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