At a media event on Friday, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was stumped by a member of the audience — former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh. When Singh, who stayed mum for a long time, finally asked a question, Parrikar replied: “I recognised you, but you kept quiet for so long that I started doubting it.” As the audience burst out laughing, Singh said, “I don’t know whether I should take it as a compliment.” Later, when he “warned” Parrikar that the murky defence industry is as good as entering a “room full of smoke”, the minister responded saying, “I would walk into the room and take a shower later.”
Within days of Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging the world to dedicate a day to yoga, the Permanent Mission of India in New York launched a massive diplomatic blitzkrieg. Led by India’s Permanent Representative Asoke Mukherji, the mission held three rounds of consultations with the missions from countries across the world and 177 co-sponsors came on board within 90 days. However, Pakistan refused to be a co-sponsor, although they supported the resolution.
The elections for the Rubber Board member from the Rajya Sabha has defied the equations in the Upper House. In the elections held on Thursday, Joy Abraham, MP from Kerala Congress (M), a constituent of the UPA, lost to CPM’s K N Balagopal by 19 votes. The UPA has 75 votes in the House, but Abraham got only 48. The CPM MP managed to get 67 votes, which includes some from the BJP as well. Although both members had claimed that the Congress promised to support them, the party, at the last minute, sent a message to all its members to vote for Balagopal.
During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with chief ministers last Sunday, the PM’s focus on UPA’s ambitious Aadhaar project came to the fore. The PMO had instructed the Unique Identification Authority of India to prepare a catalogue summarising the entire Aadhaar project and its benefits, to be distributed to the CMs who attended the meeting. The UIDAI, which had barely four-five days to do so, brought out a handy brochure and gave it to the CMs. It is now sending out the same brochures to other relevant officials in states.
As Kailash Satyarthi received Nobel Peace prize in Oslo, the Norwegian mission in New Delhi celebrated the honour in grand style this week. During a feast organised by the mission, the Capital’s elite mingled with children and staff from Satyarthi’s organisation, Bachpan Bachao Andolan, and many of his supporters from the civil society. A video of the NGO’s anthem, written by Satyarthi and sung by Jasbir Jassi, was also played at the event, which was also attended by Union minister of Mines and Steel Narendra Singh.