There were a couple of lighter moments in Union minister Rajnath Singh’s press briefing on the Union Cabinet’s “historic” decision on the minimum support price (MSP) increase. Singh, who otherwise has a very good grasp over Hindi, was lost for words when it came to the Hindi word for depreciation cost accounted for in the MSP of kharif crops. Singh stopped when he read out “mulya haraas” and asked loudly what it meant. Then, talking about farming credentials of his Cabinet colleagues alongside, Singh said he himself is a farmer, Radha Mohan Singh is a farmer, Harsimrat Kaur Badal is a farmer. Then he turned to his third colleague, Ravi Shankar Prasad, and asked him, “Aap bhi kya kisaan hain (are you also a farmer)?” As the reporters burst out laughing, a smiling Prasad responded, “main kisaani jaanta hoon (I know farming)”.
In No Hurry
The Congress leadership has begun contacting leaders of opposition parties for a meeting — most likely on July 16 — to discuss the issue of election of the deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha. With more than two weeks left for the Monsoon Session of Parliament to begin, the Congress seems to be in no hurry to begin the talks. Top leaders of the party said it is open to the idea of fielding a non-Congress MP as the joint opposition candidate, provided there is consensus. Sources said the party’s top leaders have started working the phones to prepare the ground for the meeting. The agenda will include floor coordination in the House.
Supreme Court Justice D Y Chandrachud on Wednesday expressed “anguish” over contents of a WhatsApp message that he had received regarding what transpired during a hearing on Tuesday. The message apparently was in the context of a plea seeking review of the apex court’s verdict in the National Judicial Appointments Commission case. As the counsel attempted to mention his plea again, Justice Chandrachud and Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra questioned him regarding the message. The counsel fumbled for answers and was finally disallowed by the court from mentioning his plea.