A SUPREME Court hearing on the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes saw publicity of Paytm, an e-commerce platform, from an unlikely quarter. Arguing that there are many ways in which people can withdraw money and pay their utility bills, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi repeatedly referred to Paytm, which can be used to make payments. He said it can even be used to pay for a rickshaw ride.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who represented a batch of PILs against the demonetisation, reminded Rohatgi that Paytm is a private company backed by Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba, and promoting it may not reflect well on the government.
Curbs on Press
SOME MEMBERS of the Press Council of India feel the guidelines dealing with media functioning inside the Parliament complex, issued by the Lok Sabha secretariat ahead of the Winter Session, are unusual. The guidelines prohibit journalists in Parliament from interacting with, or photographing, anyone apart from parliamentarians. The Press Council will be happy to take a stand on this restriction and is even eager to do so but is waiting for a journalist to file a complaint, said a member.
On Didi’s Orders
WITH THE march to Rashtrapati Bhavan scheduled for Wednesday, all Trinamool Congress MPs, with the exception of Subrata Bakshi and Abhishek Banerjee, have been asked to be present at the party office in Parliament at 9.30 am. Bakshi has a party assignment while Banerjee is recovering from an accident. The party’s Lok Sabha chief whip, Kalyan Banerjee, has issued a whip in this regard. With party chief Mamata Banerjee in town, the MPs are unlikely to skip the morning meeting.
ON TUESDAY, at the daily meeting of BJP leaders — party leaders and spokespersons, meet to take stock of the day’s events — one leader wondered why the office looked empty. “Sab queue mein hoga (Everyone must be in queue),” quipped another. With many staff members and mediapersons complaining about the long queues at banks and ATMs, some BJP leaders have suggested that a micro ATM should be installed at the party headquarters.