Now that the Election Commission has announced dates for the pending Rajya Sabha elections, the most-watched contest would be in Madhya Pradesh, where former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who joined BJP in March, is among four candidates in the fray for the three seats up for grabs. The BJP and Congress have put up two candidates each. The MP Assembly has 206 members after resignation of 22 MLAs who left the Congress for BJP along with Scindia to help Shivraj Singh Chouhan replace Kamal Nath as chief minister. With the Congress putting up Digvijya Singh and Phool Singh Baraiya, the battle could be an indication of how the ruling party will fare in by-elections to the 22 seats. BJP leaders are a little concerned about the bypolls and cite the Chouhan government’s struggle in containing coronavirus in the state.
The Union Cabinet usually meets on Wednesdays, but it broke the pattern and met on Monday. Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar explained why. He said the Narendra Modi government completed a year of its second term on May 30, which was over the weekend. Since Monday was the first working day after the anniversary, the Cabinet decided to hold a meeting. The regular Cabinet meeting is likely to take place on Wednesday — again. While the ministers present during Monday’s briefing took questions on the decisions taken, they ducked the query on the tension between India and China, Javadekar saying it can be answered only by the government.
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The Election Commission held a full commission meeting involving all three Commissioners on Monday. This is the first meeting that Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora chaired in person after returning from the US. Arora had been attending meetings online while he was stranded in the US due to the ban on commercial flights. He returned two weeks ago on a Vande Bharat flight. Monday’s meeting was held after he completed his two-week quarantine protocol.
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