Hema Malini, BJP MP from Mathura, is not exactly known for her diplomatic forays. However, she has been named as the chairperson of the India-Russia parliamentary friendship group, and she is enjoying it. In October last year, she went to Moscow and was honoured for her contribution to Indian cinema. The Russian fans performed her songs on stage at the Indian film festival in Russia. She is fondly remembered for her role in “Seeta aur Geeta”, and fans urged her to act in a sequel — 40 years after the movie became a hit in Russia. Later this week, she will be the chief guest at the closing ceremony for the 70th anniversary of India-Russia diplomatic relations.
It is a double whammy for Trinamool MPs. The party has taken a position against a salary hike for MPs, yet TMC chief Mamata Banerjee has asked every MP to give Rs 1 lakh for panchayat elections in the state. This is over and above the deduction from MPs’ salaries for the party fund. MPs are now seeking solace in the delicate wording of the “salary hike opposition”. The party had said it would protest the hike but never explicitly committed to refusing it.
BJP MP Jagdambika Pal has been going around the Railway Ministry with a rather unusual request. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off via remote a new Humsafar Express from Motihari this week. Pal, it turns out, would like to “flag off” the same train when it passes through his constituency in UP. The train will reach a station in his area at 5 am and Pal apparently doesn’t mind doing it at that time. Seeing his enthusiasm, railway authorities are learnt to have assented to his request.