The Gift Defence Procurement Organisation happens to be the most powerful advisory body of the Defence Ministry. In order to take care of the requirements of the Defence Ministry, this organisation was looking for an able hand for quite some time now. Whatever names came for considerations were either scuttled by the PMO or the CVC. Then Manohar Parrikar got an idea to give the responsibility to an old bureaucratic hand whom he knew for quite some time now. Vivek Ray is a retired office from the UT Cadre who also happens to be the brother of Ranjit Ray, India’s envoy in Kathmandu. He has spent quite some time administrating in Goa and is considered an upright man who knows his work. An amiable man, he is supposed to have helped Manohar Parrikar when he was a greenhorn. Naturally, Parrikar remembered him when there was a job worthy of his stature. A perfect gift to a teacher.
Piece of Heart Ajit Singh is a strange character. And not always in a good way. It is difficult for him to be without a post for even a short period, even if that means taking an ideological somersault. It is not for nothing that he could not succeed his father Charan Singh in any meaningful way. He is of the belief that Jat politics can be controlled through feudal means. But because of Western UP’s proximity to Delhi, the region has now developed financially and educationally. And this has affected Jats too. Pumped with newfound confidence and compensation money in lieu of their lands, several leaders have emerged on his turf. This has shifted the land beneath his feet. Consequently, the only abode that he had on Tughlaq Road, has also been taken away from him, as Jats not only defeated him, but his son Jayant too. In desperation, he is trying to bargain the Chief Ministerial seat for his son and a Rajya Sabha seat for himself from Janta Parivar. But Janta Parivar knows better.
Beware of us There’s a national spokesperson for BJP named Vijay Sonkar Shastri. He has put a very curious caller tune on his phone. “You are talking to a very important person. This call is being recorded, so choose your words carefully,” it goes off. It is said that he put this particular caller tune only after he became national spokesperson and started getting a barrage of calls from his hometown Ghazipur. Apparently, locals had the habit of starting the conversation with the choicest of abuses and this used to be very embarrassing in a public setting. He initially stopped taking calls from unknown numbers but then shifted to this great alternative. It has worked smoothly till now, but last heard, people have started calling him from pay-phone booths.
Menaka on Sonia’s Path Big personalities have a certain class about them. One of it is, if they think there’s something to be learnt from their enemy, they don’t mind acknowledging it. Take for example Menaka Gandhi. She has followed Sonia Gandhi in constituting vigilance bodies for her constituency Pilibhit as Sonia had done in Amethi. This helps her in solving problems at the local level. While previously she had to take care of the problems personally, the same is being taken care by these bodies. This has also streamlined the things and made it all professional. All this keeps the local administration on toes. It has started showing results too.