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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Delhi Confidential: A Long Road

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan's long-winding and detailed reply to the discussion on Budget in Lok Sabha ended up testing the time limit of the House.

By: Express News Service |
March 18, 2021 3:37:38 am
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan’s long-winding and detailed reply to the discussion on Budget in Lok Sabha ended up testing the time limit of the House. In fact, Speaker Om Birla had to interrupt him towards the end to say “thank you, mantriji”, which is rare during reply by a minister. Undeterred by the interruption, Vardhan said he would end it in a few minutes. A Cabinet colleague was heard explaining to him that the House winds up at 6 pm. The minister quickly ended his reply and the Demand for Grant was passed.

Question Of Time

When Shiv Sena MP Shrikant Shinde was interrupted by the Chair within 10 minutes to finish his speech in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, his party colleague Arvind Sawant rose to protest that this was injustice. He argued that the JD(U), with just 16 MPs, had its member Rajeev Ranjan Singh speak for over 45 minutes, but the Sena with 18 members is being given just eight minutes. BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, who was in Chair, did not relent. However, when another MP pointed out the same thing out, Lekhi explained that Singh spoke in BJP’s time.

Excuse Us, Please

Appearing before a Supreme Court Constitution bench in the Maratha reservation matter, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi requested that he be allowed to make submissions on March 22 instead of Thursday, March 18, as originally scheduled, as a standing counsel who visited his office Tuesday night had tested positive for Covid-19, and the office was closed for sanitisation. The court said it will in that case hear Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal. But Sibal also sought to be excused on Thursday, saying he, too, had handled the papers sent by the same standing counsel. Sibal said he had got one dose of vaccine, but is a little perturbed. The development comes at a time Bar associations have been demanding full resumption of physical hearings.

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