ALTHOUGH THE Lok Sabha saw a relatively quiet afternoon discussing the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, opposition and ruling party members did not stop taking swipes at each other. Delivering his response at the end of the session, minister Piyush Goyal took a jibe at Congress’s Shashi Tharoor, saying that since he is a “Hindi bhaashi” (Hindi speaker) he could not understand Tharoor’s accent and thus not grasp everything he said. Tharoor, who spoke on the bill earlier — during which Goyal was seen grinning throughout — was not present on the floor when Goyal made his remark. Goyal also accused the opposition of disrespecting and humiliating Speaker Sumitra Mahajan earlier. N K Premachandran objected to both the points later.
Headed To Africa
PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi will be headed to Uganda, Rwanda and South Africa on Monday. In Uganda, he will be addressing a diaspora event — around 8,000 people are expected to gather there — possibly the last such event in his term as the government heads to elections. In South Africa, Modi will be meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
SPORTS MINISTER Rajyavardhan Singh Rathod on Thursday courted controversy when he said in the Lok Sabha that the sports federation comment on athlete Hima Das’s English was a “small” matter. When Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi raised the matter and asked why Rathod was silent, he said, “I have many responsibilities. I can’t comment on every small thing.” The statement led to loud protests from the opposition benches. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan came to Rathod’s defence, saying his work spoke for itself and so he did not need to speak.
IT HAS been more than a month since the UGC was asked by the government to seek legal opinion on whether St Stephen’s College can be granted autonomy without amending the Delhi University Act. It has been learnt that the government is now having second thoughts on granting autonomy to the college because of the strong reaction it evoked from the DU teachers. That apart, the university is also learnt to have told the ministry that St. Stephen’s College, by virtue of its minority status, already has a lot of autonomy and it barely adheres to any of the varsity directions.