Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) laid out a red carpet for Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana when he landed in Hyderabad Friday on a three-day official visit. The grand gesture and hospitality for the CJI highlighted the ‘close friendship’ between the two, or at least that is what the CM was trying to project, say political experts.
KCR’s cordial relationship with CJI Ramana is not new. According to political experts, who asked to remain anonymous, the CM has in the past made sure to meet the CJI whenever he’s in the city. In fact, in 2014, soon after taking oath as Telangana chief minister, KCR had paid Justice Ramana a visit at his residence to extend his wishes to the latter’s daughter on her wedding. KCR was accompanied by two of his ministers at the time.
Ramana latest visit is his first since being appointed CJI. He was received at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport by Chief Justice of Telangana High Court Justice Hima Kohli, judges of the high court, state minister and KCR’s son K.T. Rama Rao and a few cabinet ministers. Soon after, Justice Ramana was taken to Raj Bhavan where he was accorded a warm welcome by KCR and the Governor, Tamilisai Soundararajan. The CJI stayed at Raj Bhavan during his three-day visit.
Banners had been put up across the city, including a few that thanked him for increasing the strength of the Telangana High Court to 42 judges from 24. The proposal, which was pending with the central government for almost two years, was revived by the CJI.
In Andhra Pradesh too, Chief Justice Ramana received a VIP welcome. He visited the famous Balaji temple in Tirupati where he was received by two local MLAs and the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Chairperson Y.V. Subba Reddy, who is also a member of the ruling party YSRCP. Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy was, however, in Delhi at that time.
Opposition party Telugu Desam Party (TDP) however slammed the government, saying it ignored the proper protocol mean for receiving the Chief Justice of India, noting how the Telangana government extended a warm welcome.
TPD MLA Gorantla Butchaiah said the Andhra government ignored the ‘son of their soil’. CJI Ramana hails from Andhra’s Krishna district. Butchaiah also said the YSRCP did not acknowledge that Justice Ramana was only the second Telugu to be made CJI, after Justice Koka Subba Rao.
When Education Minister Pokhriyal had to ‘revise’ exam policy
A fortnight after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to decide the cancellation of Class 12 board exams, officials in the education ministry are still all smiles about their Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank’s U-turn on the issue.
The minister had on 29 May written an op-ed in the Indian Express where he talked about the importance of board exams and how it is an “important milestone in a student’s journey”. In the op-ed, he also said that most of the stakeholders involved in exam related decisions are in favour of conducting “limited exams”.
“The course of undertaking the limited examination with adequate safety measures will give our generation a sense of pride in their abilities and boost their confidence as opposed to getting a general ‘pass’ degree, as offered during the pandemic,” the minister wrote for the op-ed.
According to sources, Pokhriyal had also reiterated the importance of exams during a high-level meeting chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and was of the opinion that limited exams should be conducted.
However, soon after the cancellation of the exams were announced, official Twitter handles of the education minister and Ministry of Education were full of posts thanking the PM Modi for the decision. Several video messages from students across the country were also being shared by the ministry’s official Twitter handle since Wednesday. Some were shared by the minister’s official handle too. The tweets were posted with the hashtag #ThankyouModisir.
The minister on 1 June said, “Prime Minister is always of the opinion that students’ future and their health both should be of utmost priority for us. I thank the honorable PM for the decision (sic).”
माननीय प्रधानमंत्री जी का सदैव यह मत रहा है कि विद्यार्थियों का भविष्य एवं उनका स्वास्थ्य दोनों ही हमारी सर्वोच्च प्राथमिकताएं होनी चाहिए। आदरणीय प्रधानमंत्री जी का आभार।
— Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank (@DrRPNishank) June 1, 2021