Eyes On Kerala
JD(U) Rajya Sabha member M P Veerendra Kumar’s resignation from the Upper House has put a section of CPI(M) leadership in a dilemma. With a by-election on the cards to fill the vacancy — Veerendra Kumar had quit with more than four years remaining in his term — the CPI(M) will have to zoom in on a candidate to be elected from Kerala. With the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front enjoying a majority in Kerala Assembly, it may have been a good chance for the party to send its general secretary, Sitaram Yechury, to the Upper House for a third term. But with the Prakash Karat-led faction deciding against giving Yechury another term, and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan also arguing against it, looks like the CPI(M) will have to look for another candidate. The Karat faction had earlier cited ideological issues in taking Congress support to elect Yechury from West Bengal.
Moving away from themes such as birds of India, tigers of India, wild flowers of India or endangered species of India, and murals, features and events related to Parliament House, the 2018 calendar of Rajya Sabha has a new theme. It is based on 12 top foreign dignitaries who had addressed the Parliamentarians in the historic Central Hall between 1955 and 2010. The 12 leaders portrayed represent eight countries of Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. Of them, the erstwhile USSR and the US account for six of the pages with three leaders each. Nikita Khruschev, Mikhail Gorbachov, who visited India in November 1986, and Vladimir Putin (October 2000) represent the former Soviet Union. From the US, there is then President Dwight Eisenhower, who spoke in the Central Hall in December 1955, Bill Clinton (March 2000), and Barack Obama (November 2010).
Puppets In Parliament
While puppetry has long entertained the people, narrating tales and stories in a folksy fashion, Parliament is set to witness the popular folk art soon to highlight social thinker Swami Vivekanand. A cultural troupe will perform a puppet show on Vivekanand in Parliament, and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will get the credit for letting it take place, with the help of Ramakrishna Mission.