The sudden resignation of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Urjit Patel (pictured) on Monday proved to be a blessing in disguise for the Opposition leadership because the decision by the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to stay away from the meeting of Opposition parties in Delhi was threatening to blow up into a big story about possible cracks in a united Opposition front. The announcement about Patel’s resignation came while Opposition leaders were in a meeting at the Parliament House annexe and soon the focus shifted from Opposition strategy to an impending crisis in the RBI. A senior strategist said the SP and the BSP were under pressure because of the pending cases against their leadership. Sources also said that Congress president Rahul Gandhi and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav held a meeting recently and Gandhi suggested the Congress could stay away from a possible SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh if it helped defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT), which operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture, has prohibited its staff members from "straying" from their seats for more than 15 minutes; if they must move away, they must seek permission of a senior officer. In a note mailed to staff and also pinned on the notice board, director Chetan Singh said many of its officers were regularly found chitchatting in the corridors across their offices instead of being at their work stations. They have been urged to "take interest" in their work and be present at their "allocated seats". Otherwise, the productivity of the organisation would be affected adversely, said the notice.
Look before you spend
The counting of votes for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections will begin at 8 am on Tuesday. In what could turn out to be a dampener for prospective MLAs, the MP State Election Commission clarified a day before counting began that the celebration expenditure of winners would be added to the total election spending of the individual. The commission said all candidates have to file their election expenses by December 13 and if a winning candidate participates or organises a rally or any other public function, he/she will have to add that expense to his/her total election spending. It also said that even during the counting process, the expenditure observers would keep an eye on any additional expenses.