WITH ASSEMBLY polls just months away, the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal is fielding corporate voices to endorse its work. For the Bengal Global Business Summit later this month, among those who are being pitched as experts in the field of health to give certificates to the government are Rupali Basu, president and chief executive officer, Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, Kolkata and Harsh Lodha, chairman, Birla Corporation Ltd.
ON THE first day of the reopening of the Supreme Court after the winter break, a bunch of senior lawyers showed up before Chief Justice of India, seeking to be heard. The lawyers, representing automobile firms like Mercedes, Mahindra & Mahindra and Toyota, wanted lifting of the court-mandated ban on registration of vehicles with engine capacity of 2000 cc and more in the national capital. As the lawyers sought urgent hearing, CJI T S Thakur quipped: “Are you (lawyers) getting one Mercedes each for arguing this case?” The lawyers replied that it may be too much to ask from a client for one hearing.
A B Bardhan was among the last of the Left leaders who had contacts across the political spectrum, especially the regional satraps. But many of the regional bigwigs gave his funeral a miss. JD(S) chief H D Deve Gowda, who became prime minister with Left support, was missing, and so were RJD chief Lalu Prasad and TDP’s Chandrababu Naidu, who was the convenor of the United Front coalition. Lalu sent his deputy, Prem Chand Gupta. BSP’s Mayawati, who Bardhan had famously described as the most deserving PM candidate, did not turn up. There were no representatives from DMK or BJD. RLD chief Ajit Singh too gave it a miss.