Off the record

Off the record

Cleanliness in public

Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes it a point to set an example of maintaining cleanliness in public spaces. Last week, he surprised everyone at a  function when he released a book, “Matoshree,” written by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. As soon as he unwrapped the copy of the book, Modi kept the wrapper and ribbon (wrapped around the book) in his jacket pocket, instead of throwing or handing them to any aide. 

“Matoshree” is a play based on the life of Devi Ahilyabai Holkar, the Queen of Malwa Region from 1767 to 1795. It was written by Mahajan decades ago but she decided on having a formal release by the PM now. “I have written the book but I am not a writer,” Mahajan said while welcoming the PM and other Members of Parliament.

Later, Modi and his Cabinet Ministers and MPs including L K Advani, watched the play on the life of Holkar.
Shekhar Iyer, New Delhi

Friendly foe
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is not the one who would let his personal relations come in the way of his politics. But he is also the one who would not let the politics interfere with his personal relations. So it was not surprising that when he had gone to address a press meet in Kolkata, he refrained from attacking West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, causing disappointment among BJP’s state leaders. All he said was that the BJP would form the next government in Bengal. It is no secret that Rajnath still enjoys the best of relations with Banerjee chief though her party and the BJP are daggers drawn at each other now.

As it was Bengali New Year, Mamata sent a box of sweets to Rajnath through state Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim. Interestingly, Rajnath was deputed by BJP chief Amit Shah for congratulating the Bengal BJP for its performan-ce in the Contai South by-poll in which the party had come second, displacing the Left. 
SI, New Delh

Misusing facilities
MPs are allotted space for motor garages and servant quarters along with their flats and bungalows in Delhi. But some MPs may lose these facilities soon. The issue at hand is the discovery of barber shops, tailoring shops, dry cleaning and dhobi shops, scooter/car repair shops and other commercial enterprises at these spaces. One can locate such shops in MPs' residential areas in North Avenue, South Avenue, V P House and Feroz Shah Road, all within 1 km around Parliament House.

After finding out that the motor garages and servant quarters allotted to MPs are misused, it has been decided to cancel such servant quarters and motor garages that are being misused by the allottees.

Authorities have now “requested” the MPs to ensure that servant quarters and motor garages allotted in their name are not misused to avoid the cancellation of allotment.
Shemin Joy, New Delhi

All’s fair in Kashmir
Usually it so happens that when the prime minister is in the town, the entire state government is on its toes to host him and make his event a success. But in Jammu and Kashmir, the official machinery has done exactly the opposite.

Senior bureaucrat Farooq Shah, who heads the Tourism Department, held a parallel event to interact with journalists in Kashmir when Narendra Modi was addressing a gathering after inauguration of Asia’s longest tunnel on Srinagar-Jammu highway.

Consequently, the journalists who should have been covering the PM’s visit, were relishing ‘wazwan’ (traditional Kashmir cuisine) with Shah. The state government wants to downplay the matter saying: All is fair in love, and war and Kashmir!
Zulfikar Majid, Srinagar

Disappointed fans
Tamil super star Rajinikanth has proposed to meet with his fans on Monday to take photographs with them. A pre-meeting was conducted at the actor’s auditorium in Chennai on Sunday. Large number of Rajinikanth fans thronged the venue to have a glimpse of their hero. But even when fans waited for his, Rajinikanth did not show up. The organisers too did not inform the fans that the actor had cancelled the meeting. After waiting for hours, the disappointed fans dispersed in the afternoon.

“I even skipped my breakfast to see my thalivar (leader),” a disappointed fan said.
Sathyanarayana R, Chennai