Jaswant’s new role: Building BJP’s relations

January 11, 2011
Source: http://www.dailypioneer.com

New Delhi: Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh was on Monday entrusted with the task of improving relations with other political parties and winning new allies. The new responsibility to Singh comes six months after his expulsion was revoked and he returned to the party. "BJP national president Nitin Gadkari has entrusted the task of maintaining continuous contact and relation-building with all political parties to Jaswant Singh," the party said in a statement. Singh had not been given any major responsibility after his return to the BJP on June 24, 2010. Singh, a close associate of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was summarily expelled from BJP at the Shimla Chintan Baithak in August 2009 for his controversial book which praised Pakistan-founder MA Jinnah and held Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel responsible for partition. PNS

Make clarifications sought by Prez public
New Delhi: The Central Information Commission on Monday directed the Rashtrapati Bhavan Secretariat to make public clarifications sought by the President before clearing the name of Justice CK Prasad as a Supreme Court Judge. The SC collegium had in November 2009 recommended his elevation from Allahabad High Court Chief Justice to the SC Judge. However, the Government returned the file seeking clarifications on allegations of corruption against Justice Prasad. The collegium examined the allegations and found them baseless and returned the file to the Law Ministry for processing the appointment. He was sworn in as SC Judge February this year. RTI activist SC Agrawal had sought to know from the President’s Secretariat about clarifications sought by the President. But the Secretariat invoked the Section 8(1)(i) of the RTI Act to reject the application. PNS

Cong scoffs at BJP, TRS TelangaNa meet boycott
New Delhi: The Congress on Monday described the BJP and TRS’ boycott of the meeting on Telangana as a "knee-jerk reaction" and said the "complex issue" needs wider political consultations. "It’s a complex issue that requires not only collaborative joint efforts but also wider political consultations. Knee-jerk reactions like this on such issues is going to help no one," party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said. He hoped that the discussions in the meeting will prove very helpful and asserted "we will go ahead". Meanwhile, the Government said that the meeting was convened just to share the Srikrishna Committee report with political parties and not to go into the issue in detail. "It will be the first meeting and no one is expecting any breakthrough there as the parties are yet to see the report. So, we have to give them time to discuss the report at their respective party levels," a top Government source said. PNS

Krishna to visit Kabul; security to be discussed
New Delhi: Indian projects in Afghanistan, regional security situation and safety of Indian nationals will be among a wide range of issues that will figure during the two-day visit of External Affairs Minister SM Krishna to Kabul from January 8. The visit is also expected to underline the importance of Indian involvement in reconstruction of the war-torn country. Apart from holding talks with his Afghan counterpart Zalmay Rassoul, Krishna is expected to call on President Hamid Karzai, said sources. During his meetings, the Minister is expected to highlight India’s role in peace and stability in Afghanistan for which it has pledged US $1.3 billion for various developmental projects, including construction of railway stations and power projects. The steps taken up by the Government of that country to ensure security of Indian nationals working on various projects in Afghanistan will also be discussed during the meetings. Some 4,000 Indians are building roads, sanitation projects and power lines in the country. India is also building the new Afghan Parliament. PTI