The BJP-Shiv Sena bonhomie was on display for the second day in Lok Sabha, as BJP’s Giriraj Singh was seen walking up to the Sena seats and engaging in a long friendly chat with Sena member and former Union minister Arvind Sawant and others before taking his own seat in the treasury benches. When Sawant started speaking on air pollution and climate change, BJP’s Rajiv Pratap Rudy was heard joking, “these people have destroyed the political climate of Maharashtra”, to which Sawant and other Sena MPs offered friendly smiles.
The issue of chairmanship of Parliamentary committees is the latest bone of contention between the government and the Trinamool Congress. The TMC has taken strong objection to the fact that parties with fewer members in Rajya Sabha have been given chairman posts for “important” committees, but even with 13 MPs the Trinamool has been offered chairmanship of the committee for papers laid on the table. In a stinging letter, the TMC has spurned the government’s offer. Trinamool MP Derek O’Brien was earlier chairman of the standing committee on transport, tourism and culture.
No Sweets, Please
In the first meeting of the BJP Parliamentary party, MPs were expecting sweets to be distributed to celebrate the Supreme Court’s Ayodhya verdict. In fact, some sweet packets had been brought to the party office in Parliament Building. As there were no ladoos, some MPs asked Faizabad MP Lallu Singh whether he was not celebrating the verdict. But there was strict instruction from the party’s top leadership that there should not be any celebration or sweet distribution, as that could trigger criticism. In fact, the party leadership had directed all state units and MPs not to brag or boast about the court verdict.
Polls Past Reservations
Despite strong reservations among senior Congress leaders, the Youth Congress is going ahead with its internal elections in states. Congress leaders have been critical of internal elections in the youth wing, arguing that the process is often sabotaged by money and political power, besides creating bad blood. But internal elections in Punjab unit of YC are slated for later this month, and the story one gets to hear sounds similar. Among aspirants for the post of state YC president are sons of state ministers such as Brahm Mohindra and Balbir Singh Sidhu, and MLAs like Darshan Singh Brar. Influential leaders are not averse to spending big money to get their wards elected to the Youth Congress, as they believe this will put their political career on the fast track.