Thursday, December 7, 2023

Monday Mirchi : Selfie stamps on requests irk babudom

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There are many ways in which a recommendation can be made or suggestively placed. Selfies have become unofficial stamps on requests placed with the babudom of late. So, babus must be careful when visitors bombard them with requests that are backed by stamps of their selfies with powers that be. In Telangana, babus are now fed up and tired seeing visitors’ self-attested selfies with Minister K T Rama Rao. Minister KTR does not mind if people want to take selfies with him. This has given room for some to show babus such selfies and make requests with suggestions that their request had been endorsed by the Minister captured in the selfie and that it was a matter of priority. Several babus share that this has been the case for a long time now and wonder how many selfies KTR must have obliged. A little bird told us that the new corrective rule for the selfie-bombed babus is that if a request required their intervention, KTR himself would give a call. So, babus now await a call; otherwise, they confidently call out bluff masters.

Arvind Kumar man of the hour
Special Chief Secretary Arvind Kumar is the man of the hour for filling the coffers of Telangana. At a time when the finances have become crucial, the taskmaster raised Rs 8,500 crore through e-auctions of land parcels in less than a month. The whispers in the corridors of power are that Court cases do not seem to bother Arvind anymore, especially after the ORR ToT bid. By the way, both literally and figuratively, the Nehru ORR ToT project fetched another Rs 7 380 crore, coming like choicest icing on the cake. The Budvel auction had also gone to court. Nevertheless, the auction was conducted, while keeping a close tab on courts to keep motivated litigation at bay. Anybody who greets Arvind can sense the thrill of his sense of achievement. A little bird told yours truly, if the bid for Rs 100 crore per acre is going to go down in Telangana history, Arvind’s name will be etched in golden letters for the real-time e-auctions that were rivetingly observed like cricket scores.

Ringside view of the story
Not all official postings are normal. Nor can they be labelled abnormal in a blanket manner. There is often a thin line that peers understand better in official circles. It is they who get the ringside view of postings. Postings of Pamela Sathpathy and Hari Chandana Dasari were widely discussed in bureaucratic circles recently. While some officials see political mischief behind their shift, others beg to differ. The whispers in the corridors of power are that there was a complaint made against Pamela by an activist over the execution of a court order. As for Harichandana, known to be a high-performing official, the credible version doing the rounds is that she got a posting that requires mediocre skills as she had failed to toe the official line. At the end of the day, in terms of hierarchy, both the officers do have good postings, with Pamela holding CDMA director post and Harichandana getting Ayush Director and Commissioner of Food Safety.

When the chief guest does not speak
A press release relating to an event is not complete without a gist of what the chief guest spoke highlighted typically right on the top. Recently a press release sent to media houses read, “…CV Anand, who was the Chief Guest and inaugurated the session, did not speak. That is why nothing is mentioned about it in the press note”. The event was related to FLO (FICCI Ladies Organisation) which had organised a session ‘Unlocking Cyber Secrets’ on the theme ‘Safeguarding against Digital Threats’ with three top cyber expert police officers of Telangana Police at the Integrated Control and Command Center, where the Commissioner of Police sits. The explicit mention took media circles by surprise as they usually lap up whatever the chief guest speaks.

Demand up for NVS
With TS Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao announcing the ambitious Metro project expansion, NVS Reddy, Managing Director of Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited, gets to stay longer, perhaps with yet another extension. Earlier, there was buzz that he might be replaced by CMO Secretary Smita Sabharwal. A little bird told us that NVS is now one of the most sought-after official. Although even Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy is understood to have sought his services for the neighbouring state, it appears that NVS will prefer to hang around in Telangana. Meanwhile, the corridors of power are clear that Smita will continue in the same role even in the next term if BRS comes to power, make her the longest standing officer in TS babudom.

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