The busiest man in Bangalore is not the CM

PALINI R. SWAMY writes from Bangalore: This afternoon, the 16th day of June of the year of the lord 2006, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) asked mediapersons engaged in filing a report on the “soft launch” of the Bangalore-Mysore expressway to rush to the CM’s home-office, ‘Krishna’.

The grand occasion that necessitated this SOS from the CMO?

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy was to “receive” a “report” on the violations of environment clearance in the Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project, presented by Leo Saldanha of Environment Support Group (ESG).

Not one of the journalists present thought it fit to ask any of the following five questions:

1) Why did ESG choose to submit its report today, the day of the inauguration of a part of the project, when some newspapers had already carried leaks from the report?

2) Why did the State government arrange a special meeting for the CM to receive the report and why was the media invited to such a minor event?

3) Why (and how) did the CMO suddenly include this meeting which was not the CM’s daily engagements? Is the busy CM’s schedule so flexible?

4) Will the CMO henceforth allow all NGOs to presents reports to the CM, and will the media be invited to cover each and every one of them?

5) What does it say of the Chief Minister that he could not be present for the expressway inauguration but could find time for an NGO trying to stall it?