Most people were taken by surprise when Danish Ali, earlier with the JD(S) and chosen by its leader and former Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy to be the party’s face in New Delhi, quit the regional party and contested the Lok Sabha polls on a BSP ticket from Amroha in Uttar Pradesh. There was some more surprise in store when, after the victory, BSP chief Mayawati chose Ali to be the leader of the party in Lok Sabha. But seems like the sudden rise of Ali, who spoke on some key Bills in Parliament this session, was short-lived. After Mayawati picked Girish Chandra, party MP from Nagina, to speak on the historic debate on Article 370 in Lok Sabha, the BSP chief has now appointed Jaunpur MP Shyam Singh Yadav as leader of the party in Lok Sabha.
From Bitter To Banter
The acrimony between the government and the Opposition in Parliament seems to have eased a bit when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders of other parties met at Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu’s chamber for customary tea after the session was adjourned sine die. Naidu was to host a lunch for Upper House MPs on Wednesday, but he told the leaders that he cancelled it following Sushma Swaraj’s death. Modi then suggested that Naidu host a meal during winter so that MPs can eat more and enjoy. In a friendly banter, Congress’s Anand Sharma asked Naidu whether he was trying to save on food by hosting lunch. Modi replied that Naidu would never be a miser when it comes to hosting friends and colleagues. Leader of Opposition in the Upper House, Ghulam Nabi Azad, chipped in, saying Naidu can bring prawns from Andhra Pradesh for the meal and he would arrange for good fish curry.
Birthdays of senior leaders these days see greetings from the who’s who of the political class, sometimes in personal calls, and now more often on social media platforms, although such public display of greetings is rarely seen for the MPs not so well-known. However, the situation seems to have changed for the better for Lok Sabha MPs from the first session of 17th Lok Sabha. Lok Sabha TV has begun broadcasting a small profile snippet of every sitting member of the House in the day’s programming on their respective birthdays. The practice started June-end, on the birthday of Union minister Pralhad Patel.