Updated: January 11, 2022 6:43:34 am
As External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar was greeted by many on his birthday, two wishes stood out. First was from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who said Jaishankar has been making outstanding contributions to Indian foreign policy as an officer and now as a minister. “His strategic insights are also very valuable. Praying for his long and healthy life,” Modi tweeted. And the second was from French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian who spoke to Jaishankar and wished him on his birthday as they discussed their strategic priorities.
House curbs: With the Covid situation turning critical, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu have placed restrictions on attendance for Parliament staff. As many as 400 staffers – 200 of Lok Sabha Secretariat, 65 from Rajya Sabha and 133 of allied services have tested positive between January 4 to 8. According to the new guidelines, 50 per cent of officials and staff below the rank of Under Secretary/Executive officer have been asked to work from home till month end. They constitute about 65 per cent of the total employees. Officials above this would be attending office everyday, with staggered timing.
Polls and ties: the CPM may have tied up with Congress in West Bengal and was part of the Congress-led alliance in Assam, but in Uttar Pradesh it will throw its weight behind Samajwadi Party. It is another matter that the party does not have much presence in UP. The CPM believes it is the SP which is in a position to challenge the BJP. The CPM has also decided not to enter into any tie-up with Congress at the national level, but there will be state-level understandings. The party’s Kerala unit was vociferously opposed to any electoral understanding with the Congress at the national level. The CPM at its central committee meeting in Hyderabad also decided to hold its national conclave as planned in Kerala’s Kannur in the first half of April.
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