Unlike the swearing-in ceremony of Uddhav Thackeray in Maharashtra, the oath-taking of Hemant Soren as Jharkhand Chief Minister on Sunday is set to be an Opposition show of strength. From Congress’s Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, P Chidambaram and Ahmed Patel to NCP’s Sharad Pawar, SP’s Akhilesh Yadav, BSP’s Mayawati, TMC’s Mamata Banerjee, DMK’s M K Stalin, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal, JD(S)’s H D Kumaraswamy and CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar, top leaders of the Opposition are expected to be present at the swearing-in as they are all said to have accepted Soren’s invitation. Chief Ministers including Rajasthan’s Ashok Gehlot, Madhya Pradesh’s Kamal Nath, Chhattisgarh’s Bhupesh Bhagel and Maharashtra’s Thackeray are also likely to attend. Soren has invited former President Pranab Mukherjee too, and he is said to have accepted the invitation.
The Railway administration appears to be conscious of protests against the merger of services leaking into the public domain and gathering traction on social media. Messages, both formal and informal, have gone to zonal units to “advise” officers to desist and use only “official channels”. Soon after the Railway Board Chairman’s video-conference with CPROs ended on Thursday, messages went out in some zones from CPROs to officers to “advise” those working under their control to avoid posting views on social media criticising the government’s policy decisions.
At a time when the BJP is planning programmes to reach out to the Muslim community to “clear the confusion spread by the Opposition” over the new citizenship law, party leader Shahnawaz Hussain recalled an old incident in which senior BJP leader and Union minister Prakash Javadekar was mistaken for a Kashmiri Muslim leader. In the story Hussain narrated at the BJP headquarters, Javadekar and Hussain were part of a committee to visit Jammu. While referring to their visit, newspapers in Jammu had referred to Javadekar as Javed Kar and described him as the new Muslim face of the BJP. After that Hussain started referring to Javadekar as Javed Bhai. After hearing the story, some in the BJP suggested that Javadekar could be a face to reach out to the minorities now.