The visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Agra on Tuesday was a kind of a lesson in tight security for the state agencies. A stray dog and oxen sparked some commotion and marginally disturbed the precise security time plans when Netanyahu was out to see the Taj Mahal.
But, all went well in the end. While Netanyahu’s queries during his visit showed how impressed he was with the monument, one was not sure about his reaction to the meal after his visit to Taj. It was a vegetarian lunch that UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath hosted for the Israeli Prime Minister.
The BJP government’s announcement of ending Haj subsidy from this year put the Congress in Kerala in a spot of bother. As soon as the announcement came, Congress leaders in Kerala, led by state president M M Hassan, slammed the government. By evening, the Congress high command had backed the government’s move with Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad saying it was mandated by the Supreme Court.
Worried Kerala leaders and MPs started calling up Azad after which he gave a separate reaction to Malayalam media outlets. Before them, Azad slammed the BJP government, saying the move was aimed at creating a Hindu-Muslim divide.
Interestingly, it was not just Azad’s office which contacted Kerala reporters, Congress MPs and leaders also informed them to take a reaction from the Leader of the Opposition. In his interaction with Kerala reporters, Azad, did not contradict his earlier line. He only added a line or two to attack the BJP government.
During the recently concluded conference of DGPs at Tekanpur in Madhya Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is learnt to have commented on frequent visits of Home Minister Rajnath Singh to the Sino-Indian border. In a lighter vein, when he met ITBP DG RK Pachnanda at the conference, Modi is learnt to have told him not to take the Home Minister to such high altitudes so frequently. Notably, between October last year and January this year, Rajnath has made visits to at least four remote border outposts at heights of over 10,000 ft.