January 28, 2021 4:19:58 am
As the Assembly elections in West Bengal edge nearer, political parties are using all kinds of names while attacking each other. If the TMC calls the BJP “Bargis” (marauders), the BJP insists on calling Mamata Banerjee “Pishi” (aunt) instead of her usual moniker — “Didi”. Under particular attack of this name-calling has been the TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee, Mamata’s nephew and seen as next in line in the party. While the BJP has accused Abhishek of corruption and called him “Bhaipo” (nephew) repeatedly, Suvendu Adhikari, former TMC leader and state minister who recently joined the saffron party, added a new term in a speech on Tuesday. He called Abhishek “babushona”, usually a term of endearment for a young child. Clearly though, in the political lexicon of Bengal this is not a term of endearment, but tries to paint the Lok Sabha MP as immature and inexperienced.
The new menu card of Parliament canteen, which will now be run by ITDC instead of Northern Railways, has shocked many MPs. The prices of all items have been increased multiple times — for example, the price of fish and chips has gone up from Rs 25 per plate to Rs 110, mutton cutlet from Rs 25 to Rs 150, mutton curry from Rs 20 to Rs 125, and masala dosa from Rs 6 to Rs 50. According to some members, MPs from nearby states would be the worst affected, as they get many guests from their constituencies visiting Parliament during sessions. Even though visitors are not allowed in the Budget Session due to Covid-19 restrictions, visitors will be allowed in future. During their visit, it has been a regular practice that the MPs treat them with lunch or snacks in Parliament canteen. Now that subsidy is off, many may find it difficult to continue this ritual, members say.
Farmers In Mind
BJP leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Wednesday and is learnt to have discussed issues related to farmers and agriculture. The meeting comes at a time when farmers have been protesting against the new farm laws. Interestingly, Fadnavis was the convenor of the high-powered committee of chief ministers that recommended the agri-reform laws.
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