As temperatures rose across north India, it was time for top politicians to travel abroad. SP leader and former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav took off for a foreign location late Wednesday amid the controversy over the reported damage in the bungalow vacated by him. While the expectation was that Congress president Rahul Gandhi would go abroad to celebrate his birthday, as he has done on many occasions in the past, he did not.
Yoga Day Concerns
With mats sourced from China making an appearance at the International Day of Yoga celebrations in 2015 triggering a controversy, the government was careful with items used for the event. So the main Yoga Day event in Dehradun attended by PM Narendra Modi featured 40,000 mats manufactured by a Delhi-based firm, which had sourced the materials also from the national capital. Government officials said the tenders for the mats — majority of which were orange — had specified that they be made in India. There was much focus on cleanliness as signages asking participants to take their plastic water bottles home were visible at many places. An announcement to this effect was made from the stage too. However, plastic bottles were strewn across the lawns of the Forest Research Institute at the end of the event.
Counting The Cost
The EC may not have counted it, but the single vote that UP Governor Ram Naik will cast in the election for Legislative Council of Maharashtra from Mumbai Graduates’ Constituency scheduled on June 25 will cost Rs 53,000. The Governor had written to the EC urging it to allow him to cast his vote using postal ballot. With the EC turning down his request, the Governor in a fresh letter to the EC is learnt to have said that he would have to travel to Mumbai by air along with his aide for voting. This would cost about Rs 53,000, along with additional cost of Z-plus security arrangements.