Delhi Confidential: spirited reply

The conference was attended by the newly-appointed ICCR chief Lokesh Chandra who had famously compared Narendra Modi to God.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:February 12, 2015 2:30 am

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had been keeping a low profile during the Delhi assembly polls. But, days after US President Barack Obama’s comments on religious tolerance in India, Swaraj, while addressing a conference, said the country’s spirit of unity amidst diversity, non-violence and tolerance has made it one of the oldest continuing civilisation in the world. “What is the spirit of India? I believe it is our unity amidst the immense diversity of India… it is our traditions of non-violence and tolerance,” she said. Interestingly, the conference was attended by the newly-appointed ICCR chief Lokesh Chandra who had famously compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to God.

JOKES APART
On Wednesday, BJP spokespersons were left with a rather unenviable job of defending their party. Among them, Shahnawaz Hussain received lot of compliments from BJP leaders, including ministers, for his efforts that included a stint of almost 12 hours inside TV studios. However, some WhatsApp messages spoiled his day. Hussain has been using a new number for some time to avoid junk messages, but on Wednesday no number was spared from the jokes that were doing the rounds. Upset, Hussain finally handed over the phone to his wife and asked her to keep it locked for a few days.

RUDDERLESS
The Congress has clearly run out of excuses to explain the series of electoral debacles in recent times. Left with no place to hide after the ‘zero’ in the Delhi assembly elections, the party Wednesday cancelled its routine media briefings which are held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The reason: the party’s communication department is headless after its chief Ajay Maken resigned owning moral responsibility for the Delhi debacle.

JUDGING JUDGES
The hearing of a case against appointment of Shashi Kant Sharma as CAG took an interesting turn Wednesday when the appointment of judges through the collegium method was mentioned. CJI H L Dattu asked whether constitutional provisions could be interpreted in this case just like it was done to put in place the colleigum system. This evoked a strong reaction from Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi who said a “wrong assessment” of the Constitution was made in resorting to collegium system for appointment of judges. “How is it that judges appointed after 1990s (through collegium system) were better and those appointed from 1952 onwards were not up to the mark?” he asked. “One day, we will have to debate whether it was right or wrong.” The AG’s submission is in tune with the NDA government’s plan to scrap the collegium and replace it with the National Judicial Appointments Commission.

MENDING FENCES
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to attend a function of the Catholic Church on February 17, in what is being seen as an attempt to reach out to the community that is anguished over some recent attacks on churches in Delhi. The Vigyan Bhawan function, organised by the Faridabad diocese, is to celebrate the canonisation of Father Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Sister Euphrasia last November.

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