West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Benerjee Photo: PTI
After the Lok Sabha results, the Congress has stopped sending its spokesperson to debates on television news channels. The Trinamool Congress is beset with a different kind of problem. It finds that news channels invite people not associated with the party to present views on behalf of the party. On Monday, the Trinamool said it had only "six approved national spokespersons" — Derek O'Brien, Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Saugata Roy, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Mahua Moitra and Dinesh Trivedi. "We have noticed that some channels are inviting guests on shows and referring to them as Trinamool supporters when they are not authorised to speak on behalf of the party to the national media,” said O'Brien. He added: “If you still choose to invite any other person on the show other than an approved spokesperson, please do not call them Trinamool supporters, or use TMC, Trinamool, AITC or any other term related to the party to describe the panellist".
The Kamal Nath (pictured)-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh has been transferring officials with unfailing regularity. So much so that members of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have branded his government a thriving "transfer-posting industry". In about 165 days that it has been in office, the Congress establishment has transferred its IAS and IPS officers more than 450 times. Some of these officers have been transferred four times in the period. If the lower rungs of the bureaucracy are included, the number of transfers would cross 15,000. The BJP had made such frequent transfers an issue during the just concluded Lok Sabha polls. Time and again, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had referred to the "transfer industry" in Madhya Pradesh and linked it to the recovery of ~281 crore during raids carried out by the income tax department.
A migratory bird
In 2009, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) expelled A P Abdullakutty from the party for praising Narendra Modi, who was then Gujarat chief minister. Abdullakutty then joined the Congress. On Monday, the Congress expelled Abdullakutty from the party days after he praised Modi for the Bharatiya Janata Party's massive Lok Sabha win. In a Facebook post, Abdullakutty said the NDA's victory was an acceptance of Modi's development agenda and the secret of his success was that he had adopted Gandhian values. Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President Mullapally Ramachandran said the Congress party had sought an explanation from Abdullakutty for praising Modi and got a "mocking reply". Abdullakutty was making "insulting" remarks against senior Congress leaders through the media, thus violating party rules. Criticising Abdullakutty, the Congress party mouthpiece Veekshanam said, "Like a migratory bird, Abdullakutty came to Congress from CPI(M) riding on hopes of being in power. He is pinning his hopes on the saffron party to migrate there."