The BJP may have had a smooth sailing when it came to seat-sharing discussions with its oldest ally, Shiv Sena, in Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha elections, but it was not always so. Back in 1990, Union minister Prakash Javadekar recalled, late Sena supremo Bal Thackeray had called BJP leaders, including Javadekar and late Pramod Mahajan, for seat-sharing discussions and told them that he would give the BJP 88 seats, out of 288 in Maharashtra. There was nothing more to discuss, nor to bargain. Mahajan and Javadekar then sat with other leaders and prepared a list of 88 constituencies where BJP was the strongest. Thackeray, who apparently was not so thorough with constituency names, agreed and the BJP won 85 of those seats, Javadekar recalled.
Not A Lot
Contrary to expectations, Congress president Sonia Gandhi is unlikely to campaign much in the Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly elections. Hitting the campaign trail after a long gap, Sonia is likely to address only one rally — in Haryana’s Mahendragarh —on Friday, a day before campaigning ends. In 2014, the BJP had won all four seats in the district: Ateli, Mahendragarh, Narnaul and Nangal Chaudhry. As for Maharashtra, the Congress had earlier discussed with the NCP the idea of a joint Sonia-Sharad Pawar rally. Party leaders said there is no decision on that as of now, but added that there is still time.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, in consultation with Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, has re-referred three Bills, introduced in the Upper House and pending there, to respective department-related Parliamentary standing committees for examination and reporting within two months. The Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian Bill has been sent to the standing committee on External Affairs, The Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill to the committee on Information Technology, and National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill has been referred to the standing committee on Agriculture. The Bills were originally sent to the committees during the 16th Lok Sabha but could not be reported before dissolution of that Lok Sabha.