Ahmed Patel, political secretary of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, is usually a man of few words. However, after his Rajya Sabha election win from Gujarat — despite the BJP’s efforts — he has been vocal. At the “Save Composite Culture” event in the national capital, he was at his poetic best, reading Urdu couplets to paint a dark scenario under NDA rule. Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, he said “only two persons run the nation — one the Prime Minister and the other de facto Prime Minister”.
With Nitish Kumar switching sides from the Opposition camp to the NDA, Babulal Marandi is now in the Sharad Yadav camp. A former BJP Chief Minister of Jharkhand who later parted ways with his parent party, Marandi had been hailing Nitish as the “most credible alternative” to PM Narendra Modi in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Baffled by Nitish’s switch, Marandi on Thursday hailed Sharad at the “Saanjhi Virasat Bachao” conference. Sharad and other Opposition leaders also showcased Marandi as a symbol of honest tribal leadership.
Ahead of the PM’s visit to Myanmar, Independence Day celebrations at the Indian embassy in Yangon were attended by none other than State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. The event was organised by Indian envoy Vikram Misri — who used to be private secretary to former PM Manmohan Singh. Usually, National Day celebrations are attended by cabinet ministers or ministers of state, and the attendance of the country’s iconic leader was a pleasant surprise to many. Misri had worked the phones earlier this month to get relief and medical assistance from Delhi to deal with swine flu in Myanmar, and the Myanmarese government was very happy about it. BJP’s foreign affairs department head Vijay Chauthaiwale has already visited Yangon early this month to prepare for PM Narendra Modi’s public outreach plans there.