Was it just a coincidence? As actor Rekha was taking the oath as a nominated member in the Upper House on Tuesday,the cameras of both the television channels Doordarshan and Rajya Sabha TV that broadcast the proceedings of the House,moved briefly to focus on Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan. As the private television channels ran and re-ran the shots throughout the day,the footage became the subject of discussion amongst the MPs,some of whom wondered aloud whether it was just a coincidence,considering the fact that no other MP was shown during the time Rekha took oath.
FROM taking on Home Minister P Chidambaram on the Aircel-Maxis deal,and handling political crises in Karnataka and Rajasthan,Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley had to divert his attention on Tuesday to another pressing problem. Part of the IPL management team,Jaitley was focused on cricket after a television sting operation on IPL players created a new controversy. He was seen poring over a colourful handbook of rules governing the IPL. The decision to suspend five players who got trapped in the sting seemed to have the stamp of Jaitley on it.
ULTIMATELY,his good personal equations with leaders across political parties saved the day for Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh. When a discussion on the functioning of his ministry began in the Lok Sabha,the minister came under attack from all quarters for making policy announcements outside Parliament,for his handling of pilots strike and for the general state of the ministry. Through the debate,however,many of those who had attacked him Shatrughan Sinha,Sanjay Nirupam,Shahnawaz Hussain and even Gurudas Dasgupta walked up to him to discuss their issues with him. One
does not know what assurances
Ajit Singh gave them,but by the time he stood up to reply to the debate,he had ensured a smooth sailing for himself.
KAPIL Sibal seems to have finally realised the virtues of reaching out to opposition parties. Two of his Bills stuck in Parliament for a long time because of objections from the opposition parties were recently cleared,after Sibal made personal visits to opposition leaders and sought their support. With another of his pending legislation,the Copyright Amendment Bill,scheduled to be taken up in a day or two,Sibal was again seen doing the rounds of Parliament offices of leaders of other parties on Monday.
Rider on the Storm
WITH the kind of difficult days his government has been passing through for the last several months now,the Prime Minister clearly is not sure about which political storm will hit it next. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is learnt to have agreed to attend the Rio+20 summit in Rio de Janeiro from June 20-22 but insiders say the consent has a rider. The trip would be subject to the domestic political situation at that time. The PMO seems quite aware of the fact that trouble can come any time these days.