Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi — who had come under attack from the BJP for not attending any meetings of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence — not only attend the committee’s meeting on Friday, but is also learnt to have asked Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and other officers present some pointed questions. It is learnt that Rahul asked if there was a difference in the food and rations provided to officers and soldiers of the Army. Rawat’s team is learned to have informed the panel that there is no difference in terms of quantity or quality. To another question asked by Rahul apparently about comparison of rations and winter clothing supplied by other countries including China, Pakistan and Myanmar to their troops, it is learnt that the military personnel said frequent comparative studies are done and supplies are regularly updated.
Armed with kits
Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats have taken various measures so that MPs come prepared for the session during the pandemic. It’s not just the testing, every member will be provided a kit with essential items to protect them from infection. The kit, prepared and distributed by DRDO, has 40 disposable three-ply masks, five N-95 masks, 20 bottles of sanitiser of 50 ml each, five face shields made of polypropylene, 40 gloves, touch-free hooks (to open and close doors without touching them), sea buckthorn tea bags to enhance immunity and herbal sanitation wipes.
Sending a message
While the LJP is yet to decide on whether to stay in the ruling Bihar alliance or fight against the JDU, LJP founder and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan has broken his silence. In a series of tweets, Paswan said he was in hospital and being treated for an illness. The crux of the tweets was his support for son and LJP president Chirag Paswan, who he was glad to have by his side, he said. Paswan senior said he would stand by any decision his son made. Sources said these tweets were necessitated by the feeling that Chirag wasn’t being taken seriously by allies and in the party. “This tweet puts to rest the thought that whatever Chirag says, ultimately the father can step in. This makes clear they are both on the same page,” a source said.
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