With the party fighting a bitter battle in some of the Lok Sabha constituencies in Delhi, the BJP seems to be in no mood to leave any stone unturned. On Tuesday, senior party leader and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley invited church leaders for a meeting at his residence. The 30-minute meeting was attended by six bishops from different church groups. Jaitley has, over the years, developed warm ties with the church leaders, who met him a number of times when the community had concerns over the BJP-led government’s approach towards minority communities. A fly on the wall tells us the main purpose of Tuesday’s meeting was to refresh party ties with the community, which is influential in Delhi. However, the main church, the Roman Catholics were missing from the meeting. They were apparently at an important internal meeting.
A complaint alleging a Model Code of Conduct violation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the source of much confusion at Nirvachan Sadan Tuesday. Tehseen Poonwala had lodged a complaint online against the PM’s recent speech in UP, where he targeted Congress president Rahul Gandhi by saying that his father’s life ended as “corrupt number 1”. By Tuesday evening, Poonawala received an online response stating the complaint has been disposed of as no MCC violation was found. As Poonawala went public with this response, officers in the Commission were flooded with queries and requests for confirmation. This left many in Nirvachan Sadan confused, as a decision on the same complaint filed by the Congress party is pending. Apparently, it was a local officer at the state level who is learnt to have disposed of the complaint, even though the Commission is yet to take a final call on the matter.
Leaving A Mark
Parliament House is witnessing a massive renovation. The work undertaken includes fresh cushioning of seats in the Central Hall, followed by polishing of desks and benches, retiling of courtyards and scrubbing and washing of the entire exterior of the colonial-period building. Ironically, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, responsible for the whole exercise, will not be in the 17th Lok Sabha when it assembles. “My heart will be there,” Mahajan had said a few days ago.