Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) – or HAM-S – may have announced its decision to quit the RJD-led Opposition grand alliance in Bihar, but the former chief minister is still engaging the Congress. On Thursday, Manjhi told Bihar Congress president Madan Mohan Jha that he is yet to decide on joining the NDA. Manjhi said he has announced his decision to leave the alliance because of the RJD. But the Congress believes he will either go back to the JD(U) or have an alliance with the ruling party. Congress leaders believe Chief Minister Nitish Kumar could offer Manjhi an MLC seat from the Governor quota, and possibly send him to Rajya Sabha later. Nitish, the Congress feels, could even field five or six HAM-S candidates on JD(U) ticket.
Even as Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh arrived in New Delhi along with five former Congress MLAs who had resigned from the Assembly to join BJP, the Congress expelled Biren’s son-in-law R K Imo, a Congress MLA, from the party on Thursday. Imo, who was accompanying Biren and was in New Delhi at the time of expulsion, is believed to be instrumental in the defection of the five former legislators. On Friday, Imo responded to the expulsion in a written statement, saying that things will get worse for the Congress in Manipur unless the party high command takes cognizance of the “arbitrary leadership” of former Manipur CM and Congress Legislature Party leader Okram Ibobi Singh. Laying the blame squarely at Ibobi’s door, Imo urged the AICC to consider replacing a leadership, which he says is now way past its prime.
In Goods We Trust
With normal passenger train services disrupted due to the pandemic, the entire focus of the Railways has been on freight movement. To improve services for goods movement on trains, the Railways has announced a helpline for all freight and parcel queries. It announced that in view of the ongoing thrust on promoting freight and parcel traffic, it has come out with a single all-India contact number, which will be option 6 on the integrated railways helpline number – 139. Railways Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted about the decision: “Railways enhance ease of freight transportation! Now, businesses, traders & suppliers can dial a single all-India contact number to transport goods via Indian Railways.”
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