Delhi Confidential: Special Message

Piyush Goyal

At a high-level internal deliberation seminar on transformation of Railways called ‘Parivartan Sangosthi’, which took place over the weekend and was helmed by Piyush Goyal, a “live chat” screen was a thing of wonder. Senior officers across the country were chatting live on it and sending suggestions, and it kept displaying live on the backdrop of the stage. One chat message that officers took note of said this was a “fruitful” exercise only if in the end the fruit is plucked and eaten. One of the takeaways was said to be the merger of all nine service cadres and also trimming the Railway Board on functional lines.

Session After Session

During Parliament sessions, MPs of all parties have special classes on the new Bills. Usually such classes, where senior officials from the respective ministries come to brief them, are attended by 30-40 MPs. On Tuesday, the session was on Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday. Only one MP — Jagdambika Pal of BJP — attended it. After sitting till midnight to pass the Citizenship Amendment Bill, MPs did not seem to be in the mood to attend a class on another Bill. The Ministry of External Affairs official who came to brief the MPs apparently thanked the BJP MP.

Request To Reconsider

The All India Anglo Indian Association has written to PM Narendra Modi against the 126th Constitutional amendment doing away with the provision for nominated MPs and MLAs from the community. Recalling the community’s contribution, the president-in-chief of the association requested the government to reconsider the decision. They said there are still several lakhs of Anglo-Indian citizens living in varying numbers across 22 of the 28 states and 9 Union Territories. In a separate letter to Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, the association disputed his statement that by the 2011 census there were only 296 Anglo Indians in the country.