Nora Chopra is a senior journalist with a finger on the pulse of the Indian political scene

PM will flag off Kolkata Agartala direct bus

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi goes to Dhaka in the first week of June, he will have some good news for West Bengal and Tripura. He will flag off a direct bus service between Kolkata and Agartala through Bangladesh. Bangladesh was delaying India's request for direct passage because of the impasse over settling the land border issue. Now that the land border issue has been settled, Dhaka is willing to let a direct bus ply. Until now, the only direct route between Kolkata and Agartala is via a flight. If one prefers the road route one has to change buses in Dhaka, which is a hassle because of immigration problems. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be in Dhaka with the PM when he flags off the bus.

Naveen’s DG appointment questioned

Senior bureaucrats in Orissa are upset over Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's decision to give Bijoy Sharma charge as the state's Director General of Police. Senior officers are privately questioning the decision of the Chief Minister behind neglecting Binoy Kumar Behera, a DG rank officer, who is the director of the state police academy and is four years senior to Sharma. Behera belongs to the 1982 IPS batch, while Sharma is from the 1986 batch. Another officer, K.B. Singh of the 1985 batch was also ignored. But then Sharma is said to be a good friend of Naveen Patnaik's elder brother Prem.

Delhi Cong divided over Maken

The appointment of Ajay Maken as chief of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee has not gone down well with the Delhi unit of the Congress. The division within the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee became clear when Maken's photo went missing from the posters put up by the Delhi Youth Congress president Amit Malik on the occasion of Rajiv Gandhi's 25th death anniversary. The posters carried the photographs of Maken's predecessor Arvinder Singh Lovely and Haroon Yusuf. Lovely, Yusuf and A.K. Walia even boycotted the convention organised by Maken in the Delhi's south east district. There is speculation that former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is at the core of this rebellion. Both Lovely and Haroon Yusuf were important ministers in the Dikshit Cabinet.

Sisodia will teach babus legalities

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has issued a circular asking all Delhi government bureaucrats to attend lessons on the legal provisions governing their relations with the elected state government. It is Sisodia himself who will be giving them these lessons.

Politics in Press Club election

The Press Club of India seems to believe that journalists are among the highest paid in the country. How else does it explain the Rs 1 lakh deposit fee it is asking for from journalists who want to contest the Press Club election to become even a member of the executive committee? The money will be refunded, irrespective of whether one wins or loses, but even then, how will journalists, most of whom are poorly paid, organise that kind of cash for a club election? Most Press Club members believe that this is the handiwork of the outgoing team of Nadeem Kazmi who has been an office bearer for over a decade in some form or the other. If this new rule is implemented then about half the contenders will be eliminated, as it will be difficult for them to organise Rs 1 lakh. Thus, the existing team may automatically get another term.

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