Updated: July 9, 2020 1:37:11 am
The decision ahead of Bihar Assembly elections to allow those aged 65 and above to vote via postal ballot has snowballed into a political controversy. Five parties – the Congress, CPI, CPM, TMC and RJD — have opposed the move, with some writing to CEC Sunil Arora, arguing that it would expose senior citizens to influence by the administration and the party in power. Although the Conduct of Election Rules have been amended, the provision cannot be implemented unless the EC issues a formal notification before Bihar polls. The row forced the Commission’s officers into a huddle this week. The buzz is that the EC may consider not notifying the provision before Bihar polls.
Question Of Quorum
Congress MP Jairam Ramesh cited difficulties in mustering quorum for the meeting of the Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change and sought permission to hold virtual meetings. But when the Rajya Sabha secretariat reviewed the matter, it was found that quorum is not necessary for every meeting. The officials said quorum is necessary only for taking decisions and adopting reports by the committee. They also informed Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu that committees have been meeting without quorum over the years.
New British High Commissioner Philip Barton Wednesday presented his credentials to President Ram Nath Kovind in a virtual ceremony. Barton’s mother was born in Shimla and he was posted in Delhi in the 1990s. He met his wife, Amanda, when they both lived and worked here in India, and they named their daughter India.
A career diplomat, J P Singh has taken charge of Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran division in the Ministry of External Affairs. Singh was posted in Kabul when the Indian embassy was attacked. Later, he volunteered to serve in Pakistan, and was sent to Islamabad as Deputy High Commissioner. He accompanied the family members to meet Kulbhushan Jadhav. After serving in Istanbul as Consul General for a brief stint, he returned to Delhi and has now taken charge in South Block.
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