The front row of Rajya Sabha will sport a new look when Parliament reconvenes for the Winter Session. BJP president Amit Shah, newly elected to the Upper House, has been assigned the seat across the aisle but next to the Prime Minister’s, earlier occupied by Venkaiah Naidu before he was elected the Vice-President. BSP supremo Mayawati, who resigned in a huff, has been replaced by party member Satish Mishra, and CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, who has retired, will be replaced by T K Rangarajan.
Pitching It Smart
Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev had to do some “emotional blackmailing” to make Rahul Gandhi, the party’s president-elect, address a one-day workshop of the party’s women’s wing. Sources say Rahul was initially hesitant to make a commitment to address the workshop when Mahila Congress leaders approached him but Dev said he would have to oblige them since he is replacing a woman, Sonia Gandhi. She argued that it would be good if Rahul begins his new journey by giving time to the party’s women workers. The workshop was initially planned for Saturday but was advanced since Rahul takes charge of the party formally on Thursday.
BJP veteran L K Advani has not campaigned in Gujarat, but he will be in the state on Thursday to vote. While Advani will vote at a booth in Jamalpur-Khadiya Assembly constituency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will vote around noon — in Sabarmati constituency. BJP president chief Amit Shah will go to Naranpura and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is a Rajya Sabha member from the state, will vote in Vejalpur