While the BJP’s choice for the post of Lok Sabha Speaker remains a matter of suspense, there is speculation that six-time BJD member Bhartruhari Mahtab may be the Deputy Speaker. Mahtab, the son of former Odisha Chief Minister Hare Krushna Mahtab, has the experience, temperament and intellectual gravitas needed for the job, but he is not in the BJP, nor even the NDA. However, as the BJP had given the post of Deputy Speaker to Thambi Durai of the AIADMK in 2014, rumours are rife that the party may offer it to the BJD, which is outside the NDA fold this time.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has hit the ground running with a plan to celebrate World Environment Day on June 5. He has urged people to plant a sapling and take a selfie with it. The ministry plans to upload these pictures with the hashtag #selfiewithsapling. To kick off the drive, and continuing with its celebrity streak, the ministry has invited former cricketer Kapil Dev and actor Jackie Shroff to plant saplings at the ministry headquarters at Indira Paryavaran Bhavan on Wednesday morning.
Senior Left leaders D Raja and M A Baby will be off to Turkey this week to attend a two-day meeting of the working group of International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ parties. Communist parties in many parts of the world are facing an existential crisis. Although the invitation was accepted much earlier, the Communist parties in India too are reeling from a major electoral setback and staring at a deep crisis like their counterparts from many countries. It will be interesting to see how they explain the Left’s electoral decimation to the foreign comrades.
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