Rich & poor
At a recent press conference called by the mayors of the three municipal corporations to criticise the “stubborn attitude of the Delhi chief minister”, south Delhi mayor Subhash Arya began by discussing the financial crisis of the North and East corporations. After announcing the facts and figures of the matter, Arya pointed to north Delhi mayor Ravinder Gupta, sitting on his right, and said, “Under the current circumstances, he will remain middleclass,” and then turned to his left, pointing at the east Delhi mayor, Harshdeep Malhotra, saying, “He will always remain poor,” and then to himself, claiming, “And we will stay rich.”
Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, who ordered BJP MLAs to be taken out of the Assembly on two consecutive days, on Friday had to ask marshals to escort a woman out of the visitors’ gallery after she interrupted Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta. “I did not like the fact that I had to ask a woman to be taken out,” Goel said. Gupta quickly asked, “So, do you like it when you ask me to be taken out?” While the House roared in laughter, Goel said, “I said woman. If your party had a woman, I would have felt bad to send her out. But your party has no woman MLA this time.”
In the ongoing tussle between the Lt-Governor and the state government, the counsel for former law minister Jitender Singh Tomar, during arguments, warned of possible excesses one can expect if the tussle continues. “Today, one can store ‘X’ number of liquor bottles under the Excise Act. Overnight, the Lt-Governor will change that number and then police will come to my doorstep and arrest me without even a legal notice being served on me. Can someone overnight know that a rule has been changed? This man’s (Tomar’s) arrest is also a result of the ongoing tussle,” he argued, while pleading for bail for Tomar.
While the names of Dr B R Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi are often quoted on the floor of the Assembly, AAP MLA Vishesh Ravi on Friday quoted a line by Bollywood actor Sunny Deol from the film Border. While taking a dig at the Centre for interfering with the affairs of the Delhi government, he said the two governments need to work together. Referring to dialogues exchanged betweeen Deol and Jackie Shroff in the film, Ravi then quoted Deol, “Tum hi tum ho toh kya tum ho aur hum hi hum hai to kya hum hai.”
While students’ and teachers’ unions of Delhi University are fighting tooth and nail to stop the implementation of the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS), the Congress’ student wing, the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), apparently has a bone to pick with the “CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education)”. In an erroneous poster doing the rounds of Facebook, NSUI is demanding the rollback of “UGC-CBSE”!
During the strike called by doctors this week, amid the negotiations between the government and doctors and some harsh words before ESMA was invoked, a key representative of the doctors had to keep going in and out of meetings to take phone calls. After a few such instances, irate health officials questioned why the meeting was being interrupted so often. On being told that the doctor’s wife was expecting and his worried wife was calling repeatedly, anger gave way to congratulations.
In the air
At a conclave organised in Delhi by environmentalists and experts, a scientist from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) asked a question that left the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) official on the stage stumped. “Why is that the CPCB takes data from the DPCC? But when we want monitoring data from the CPCB, the website says that it is unavailable?” Unsurprisingly, the topic was quickly changed.
After the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) formed a five-member committee to probe alleged irregularities in the tender for stainless steel tankers, a senior Congress leader said, “It’s ironic that the alleged scam is one which is related to the acquisition of tankers that was aimed at ending corruption. The new tankers were supposed to help curb the water mafia by making it harder to steal water.”
After months of silence and quite literally disappearing from the political radar, former Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Arvinder Singh Lovely made a rare public appearance this week. He participated in a strike by workers of the Delhi Development Authority and, while his future role in the party organisation remains unclear, a close aide of him said, “He needed some time to recover from the defeat. He led the party through its darkest phase in the capital and he will be active again.”