“You have taken away both my portfolios (Urban Development and Housing and Parliamentary Affairs),” Congress leader Kamal Nath told BJP’s Venkaiah Naidu when they came face-to-face with each other. Well, along with this package, Naidu has also got a very ticklish task. Alloting houses to people as Urban Development Minister is bad enough, but he also has to contend with the job of allotting rooms to his ministerial colleagues and political parties in the Parliament House.
For somebody who is known to be aggressive on Twitter, Trinamool national spokesman and Rajya Sabha member Derek O Brien had a remarkably quiet Tuesday on the microblogging site even as cheeky remarks flew thick and fast including from political opponents like Anurag Thakur of the BJP. The reason: His brother Barry O’ Brien has chosen to join BJP.
With Karnataka’s Mallikarjun Kharge having been nominated as the Leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha, there is now a demand from party MPs from Kerala for the Deputy Speaker’s post. Amid the Congress decimation across the country, the only saving grace for the party was its performance in Karnataka and Kerala. Karnataka has sent nine Congressmen to Lok Sabha — the maximum from any state — closely followed by Kerala with eight. Sources said veterans like K V Thomas, Mullapally Ramachandran and Kodikunnil Suresh were angling for the post. All of them were ministers in the previous UPA government.
Change in plan
The sudden demise of BJP leader Gopinath Munde saw ministers and leaders alike rushing to pay their respects, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the process, the PM missed out on his first briefing in the ultra secret war room located in South Block by the armed forces. The briefing, which was also to be attended by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, will now be rescheduled at a later date on the convenience of the two leaders.
At Tri Nagar, Smriti Irani centered her speech around Modi, with over 10 references in 11-minute extempore.