'Don't have capability to build roads in Bihar': What was Gadkari implying?

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari
Not Bihar, says Gadkari


Highway Minister Nitin Gadkari at a recent press meet was applauded for the remarkable job done by his department in Haryana. But guests at the event were left scratching their heads because of a comment he made later during the event. When the minister was asked whether his ministry could replicate its efforts in Bihar also, Gadkari replied in his characteristic impishness: “No, I don’t have the capability to do it.” What was he implying? That his ministry didn’t have the wherewithal to continue the great work, or did he simply take a swipe at the Bihar government? With Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar being a Bharatiya Janata Party ally, a majority of those gathered were willing to rule out the second possibility.


Azad-Adhir synergy


Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad is the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha while Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury is the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha, and recognised as the legislative leader of the principal Opposition party. Azad lives at 5, South Avenue Lane, in New Delhi. Until recently, Chowdhury lived in Humayun Road, which is a little over 5 km from South Avenue. At times, people in the Congress wish their Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha strategies could do with greater synergy. This could be on the mend. According to sources, Chowdhury is set to shift to a bungalow across the lane where Azad lives and the two neighbours could get more opportunities to exchange notes on the party’s parliamentary strategy.


Fewer ‘Modi jackets’


The government on Thursday held the customary all-party meeting that takes place before the start of a Parliament session. The Budget session begins on Friday. Representatives, 34 in number and from nearly all political parties, attended the meeting, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairing it. MPs and officials who have tracked these meetings over the past few years observed that the number of MPs wearing “Modi jackets” used to be nearly a dozen until recently, including those from some of the regional parties that were not allies of the Bharatiya Janata Party. At Thursday’s meeting, apart from the PM, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi and a YSR Congress MP were seen wearing the jacket. Some attributed this to the Delhi cold — which meant MPs wore clothing that covered their arms instead of a sleeveless “Modi jacket”.

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