It is lonely at the top. Vice-President and Rajya Sabha chairman Mohammad Hamid Ansari is the latest one to have discovered this. The one who occupies the chair feels absolutely lonely. The one who gives him company is the marshal, he said,apparently of himself at a function held to bid farewell to a retiring marshal. While Ansari was philosophical,secretary-general Shamsher Sheriff was in a lighter mood. No worries about quorum, he told Ansari,as soon as the Vice-President entered the overcrowded committee room.
THEY had gone into their protest sit-in with their demand for a separate state of Telangana but came out complaining of mosquitoes. The five Congress MPs from Andhra Pradesh who sat on a 48-hour protest on the staircase of the Parliament building had a tough time,it seems,swatting mosquitoes at night. Though arrangements for beds,fans and coolers,and even mosquito repellants,had been made so that they could have a comfortable sleep during the night,the MPs were later heard complaining about constant mosquito bites and presence of ants. Worse,their ordeal had not brought the Telangana dream any closer.
SCORING A POINT
MINISTER of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has written a letter to his political adversary in West Bengal,Mamata Banerjee,seeking her attention towards the poor condition of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway,a world heritage site that has been non-functional since 2010. Chowdhury has requested the Chief Minister to lend her personal weight in getting the rail link operational again. But behind the noble motive,Chowdhurys move is also being seen as an attempt to tell Mamata that she,and her party,had been at the helm of affairs at the Railways since 2009,and the sorry state of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is actually her doing.
FOLLOWING the withdrawal of wealth tax on agricultural land,there is a race between the Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal to take credit. But more than the parties,it is individuals who are learnt to have swung the deal. Congress MPs from Punjab Maneesh Tewari,Preneet Kaur,and Pratap Singh Bajwa and one from Haryana,Deepender Singh Hooda,all played important roles in getting the tax rolled back. The three Punjab MPs had recently met Finance Minister P Chidambaram to impress upon him the need to withdraw this Budget proposal. Later,Hooda proposed to move an amendment during the Parliament discussion and vote on the budget proposals. This amendment was later accepted by the government and passed by Parliament.