May 7, 2021 3:10:55 am
The suspense over who will lead the BJP government in Assam is intensifying, with the top leadership giving no indication on when it would take a decision. While chief ministers or designated chief ministers in other states have started discussing ministerial berths and portfolio allocation, the BJP leadership has not yet called a Parliamentary board meeting, which is to send observers for electing leaders to lead the party/government in Assemblies. On Thursday, party president J P Nadda, who returned from West Bengal, met Union Home Minister Amit Shah but many party leaders insisted that it was to discuss the situation in violence-hit Bengal. Meanwhile, in Assam both Sarbanand Sonowal and Himanta Biswa Sarma — the two main contenders for the top post — are eagerly waiting to hear from the national leadership.
Italian Ambassador to India Vincenzo de Luca switched on an oxygen plant at ITBP Referral Hospital, Greater Noida, on Thursday. The plant will supply oxygen to more than 100 beds at a time to Covid-19 patients admitted at the centre. In a way, this was a return gift from Italy for the services ITBP rendered during the first wave, and the ambassador acknowledged as much. Speaking on the occasion, de Luca remembered the assistance provided by ITBP personnel when 17 Italian coronavirus-positive tourists were taken care of by the force at its Chhawla facility in 2020.
With farmers protesting against BJP legislators and party functionaries in Punjab and Haryana, the party has started bracing for their impact on its national leaders. It appears that this sense has got the Home Ministry under Amit Shah granting ‘Z’ category security to newly appointed BJP vice-president and RSS prachaarak, Saudan Singh, who is in-charge of party affairs in Punjab and Haryana. Singh has earlier been in charge of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha and was known to travel to remote parts of these Maoist-affected states without any security. But the MHA’s assessment to provide Z-category security by CRPF to Singh seems to indicate the government’s assessment that the farmers’ protests are not going to end any time soon. Singh’s security is valid only in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi.
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