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Monday, August 02, 2021

Delhi confidential: Deadline Nearing

Rawat had a late-evening meeting with BJP chief J P Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah Wednesday, but there was no final word on his future, it is learnt.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
July 2, 2021 4:00:58 am
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat has to become an MLA before September 10, when the six-month period since taking over the reins of the hill-state ends. And this seems to be giving sleepless nights to the BJP leadership. Rawat had a late-evening meeting with BJP chief J P Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah Wednesday, but there was no final word on his future, it is learnt. Amid speculation over other options before the party, including appointing a new CM to avoid a last-minute election, different aspirants have, meanwhile, stationed themselves in the national capital. It seems the party leadership is not in a mood to rush for a by-election, having concluded that Gangotri, the vacant seat, is not safe for Rawat. The BJP state unit also does not seem to have any idea about what’s happening, as leaders there apparently have not been kept in the loop. Although a section has suggested that the state election could be advanced, the party leadership apparently does not have the confidence to opt for it, given reports from the ground, including from party MLAs, on a strong anti-incumbency perception against the BJP government in the state due to its mismanagement of the Covid-19 situation and lack of development work initiated. The result is seen as crucial since this election is bound to leave its impact on the crucial UP polls next year.

Good Encounter

When Afghanistan’s envoy to India, Farid Mamundzay, described his recent encounter with an Indian doctor, little did he realise that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would comment on it. Mamundzay, who came to India late last year, gave an account of his visit to a doctor who refused to charge after learning that his patient was Afghanistan’s Ambassador to India, saying that he will not charge a brother. The tweet was in Hindi. Modi said this incident shared by Mamundzay has the essence of the fragrance of India-Afghanistan relations. The Afghan envoy responded stating that good friends are like stars in the sky — one may not be able to see them all the time but one knows they are always there.

Dial D For Digital

The event to celebrate Digital India on Thursday brought in some surprise accolades for the electronic toll payment instrument, FAStag. Speaking to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Dehradun-based taxi driver said the tag has helped him immensely. This came after Modi described in his address how FASTag has brought down time and cost of transport in India. As a bonus, the taxi driver also said that he had installed digital payment app BHIM the day Modi announced it.

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