A fortnight has passed since the Congress high command set up a committee to address issues raised by Sachin Pilot and the MLAs who rebelled with him against Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, but the panel is yet to carry out any substantive work. While some leaders say the panel had met once in Delhi, the committee — consisting of Ahmed Patel, K C Venugopal and Ajay Maken — is yet to visit Jaipur to meet all Congress MLAs and leaders. Maken, who has since been appointed general secretary in charge of the state, was in Jaipur for two days but largely for a familiarisation exercise with district and state-level leaders. Sources say leaders like Patel and Venugopal were busy managing the crisis triggered by the letter written by 23 senior leaders and will soon focus on Rajasthan.
When PM Narendra Modi announced Atmanirbhar Bharat, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM), the economic wing of Sangh Parivar, was quick to take credit, saying it had been arguing for this for long. However, the SJM seems not so amused by recent steps taken by the central government. On Tuesday SJM’s national co-convener Ashwani Mahajan wrote to Modi that the government is moving towards allowing FDI in defence under ‘Automatic Route’ to 74 per cent as against 49 per cent earlier. Mahajan said as per the current policy, any foreign company registered in India is an ‘Indian vendor’, and this will take away gains for the domestic defence industry from previous policy initiatives. SJM now wants the PM to revise the definition of ‘Indian vendor’.
Change Of Plan
The meeting of the Standing Committee on IT that was to discuss the suspension of telecom and internet services could not take up its agenda on Tuesday. The Shashi Tharoor-led committee passed a condolence message for the death of former President Pranab Mukherjee and the meeting was adjourned. Ruling party MPs, who were objecting to the panel taking up the matter of internet blockade, heaved a sigh of relief that the discussions didn’t take place. Despite objections from BJP’s Nishikant Dubey, Tharoor was planning to take up the matter with home ministry officials who were scheduled to appear before the panel on Tuesday.
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