Ever since he recovered from cancer, Malayalam actor-turned-MP Innocent has been on a mission to create awareness about the disease and bring in optimism to the cancer patients. The MP’s last speech in Lok Sabha was against the high price charged by hospitals for cancer medicines. However, in the Monsoon session, he had another mission — he wanted to hand over the copy of the Italian translation of his book Cancer wardile chiri (Smile in the Cancer Ward) to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. Innocent was accompanied by Left MPs from Kerala when he met Sonia at her office in Parliament House. Sonia, according to the MP, was “excited” seeing the book.
On another plane
Continuing its clamour for a JPC probe into the Rafale deal, the Congress in Lok Sabha trooped to the Well in protest during Zero Hour. But amid the protest, party MP from Punjab Sunil Jakhar quickly folded a newspaper page into a paper plane and started brandishing it. He said his paper plane was better than the fighter jets one Indian company, which had bagged the offset contract, would make under the deal. He asserted that he had better experience than the company to make fighter jets and that as proof he be allowed to lay the paper plane on the table of the House for examination. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan decided to ignore him.
Registrar General of India Sailesh, who is responsible for updating the National Register of Citizens, is also handling the charge of Secretary, Official Language department. A 1985-batch IAS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre, Sailesh was promoted to secretary level but has been continuing as Census commissioner due to the long pendency of NRC. The draft NRC was published last month and final list is expected by next year.
“Ranee Narah tho sayonara (goodbye) hi hain,” a senior Congress leader said when asked about her absence during voting for the election to Rajya Sabha’s Deputy Chairman post. Her absence, it seems, did not surprise the Congress. Some leaders had been saying that Narah, MP from Assam, could be planning to quit the party in the run-up to Lok Sabha polls. She had not turned up during last year’s vice-presidential elections as well.