While all eyes are on who meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Shah these days after the Election Commission’s notification set the ball rolling on Presidential election, there is speculation that Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan could be a contender. Mahajan’s name was doing the rounds along with Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu for a long time, and on Wednesday the corridors of key government offices were abuzz with the report that she had been asked to stay back in New Delhi for the entire week.
After drawing flak the whole day for advising pregnant women to avoid non-vegetarian food and follow abstinence, the government later on Wednesday hit back. It said the contentious booklet has been in circulation since 2013, and that the UPA government had made the suggestions, which are variously being described as “sanskari” and “regressive” now. “This publication has been in distribution through the units of the erstwhile Department of AYUSH and CCRYN since 2013. The report that it was released by the Minister of State (IC) for AYUSH in recent past is incorrect,” states the clarification.
The anti-dowry law dates back to 1961 but Union minister and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party chief Upendra Kushwaha seems to be unaware. An NDA ally, Kushwaha was addressing a three-day training programme for his party in Rajgir, Bihar, when he spoke about the failure rate in the recently declared state Board examination results. He said that after alcohol, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was out to ban dowry. “If he will not allow children to pass, how will they ask for dowry,” he asked.
A six-part series for Rajya Sabha TV on the Wars of India, which was to have been directed by Shyam Benegal — along the lines of his critically acclaimed “Samvidhan”, on the Constitution of India — has been shelved. With just two months to go for before the Vice-President’s tenure ends, sources in the channel say it was not deemed advisable to give out a big commission. MPs who were made members of the Content Advisory Committee about two months ago are peeved at their own “toothlessness”.