The Republic Day functions of late have become more of a ritual than celebration. But this function was something special as Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh hoisted National Tricolour at Digha Primary School located in the dense Saranda forest area of Chaibasa in Jharkhand. It was a special occasion for the local tribals. The national flag was not hoisted in the area in the last 20 years as the area was controlled by the Maoists. The forest has now been “liberated” from the Maoists as part of the Saranda Action Plan. Work on infrastructure has started in the area and gradually it is becoming a part of the mainstream.

Security leads to disruption

Rahul Gandhi’s ascension to the post of vice-president has had a curious fallout. Since he assumed charge, the briefings at the AICC office have been disrupted. The latest occasion was on Friday when the new vice-president held a meeting with the AICC secretaries. Even senior Congress beat reporters were shooed away from the gate by the Special Protection Group officers, who had turned the 24 Akbar Road office into a fortress. Briefings were disrupted when Rahul visited HQ to take charge.