While Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a virtual meeting of the Cabinet in April, when the lockdown was at its strictest, it appears the experience has given way to hybrid meetings. This came to the fore in Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting when some ministers were surprised to hear Home Minister Amit Shah’s voice while he wasn’t physically present. After looking around, they realised Shah had joined them through video-conferencing. Shah, in fact, seems to be using this mechanism quite well while being in the national capital. He had joined the all-party meeting on June 19 as well as the PM’s interactions with chief ministers earlier in the same week from his office in the capital. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar were present with the PM in the all-party meeting; Shah had joined it from his office.
Himanta Biswa Sarma, the ruling party’s troubleshooter in the Northeast, had taken a break from his role as Assam’s Health Minister for a few days to sort out the political crisis in Manipur, where ally NPP withdrew support from the BJP government, leaving it on the verge of collapse. Resuming his task of battling with Covid-19 in Assam, Sarma tweeted about the state’s “aggressive testing” and said it has, as of Thursday, tested 3,51,753 samples. His post was liked, among many others, by Manipur CM N Biren Singh, whose chair Sarma seems to have saved.
Positive In Negative
His latest coronavirus test report having come negative, former Union minister and veteran RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh is expected to be discharged in the next few days from AIIMS, Patna, where he was admitted last week after testing positive. Singh had created a flutter while in hospital: He resigned as national vice-president of RJD. Singh is known for his plain-speak, and all eyes in RJD will be on what he says and how he acts after leaving hospital.
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