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Sunday, August 01, 2021

Delhi Confidential: In Confidence

Members from across parties did not want to share details of the meetings with the media, it is learnt.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: June 30, 2021 2:51:26 am
Shashi Tharoor

The confidentiality clause to Parliamentary panels prevents members from sharing details of these meetings to the media. Information Technology panel chairman Shashi Tharoor, it is learnt, wanted members in the committee to express their views on the issue, pointing out that some details of the meetings find their way to sections of the media. He is learnt to have asked them whether they think that the media should be briefed about the discussions, and that he could take up the issue with the Speaker, if they agreed. Most MPs are learnt to have spoken in favour of retaining the confidentiality clause. Members from across parties did not want to share details of the meetings with the media, it is learnt.

Feeling Left Out

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with leaders from Jammu and Kashmir may have sent positive signals to the people and politicians in the region, but Kashmiri Pandits, a community that has been a priority for BJP so far as J&K is concerned, seem to have felt left out. The community feels it, too, is a stakeholder, and should have been included in the meeting. Their representatives had aired their complaints publicly and in TV debates. Now their anguish seems to be coming out in a different way. All-India Kashmiri Samaj, an organisation of Kashmiri Pandits, has written to BJP president J P Nadda against one of the party’s spokespersons, Sanju Verma, alleging that Verma was “not only arrogantly dismissive of the opinion of Kashmiri Pandit panelists on the debate, but her comments were also contemptuous and her manners unworthy of her position”. It said the “least BJP can do is to ask its spokespersons to be considerate and respectful towards the community”. BJP insiders say this, perhaps, would be the first such complaint from the community against the party’s talking heads.

Pitch It Right

The BCCI’s decision to shift venues of the remaining IPL games this season and the T20 World Cup to the UAE seems to have left at least one senior politician disappointed. Former Union minister and senior Congress leader K V Thomas has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, pointing out that countries that conducted the vaccination programme effectively, and in time, are hosting sports events. Declaring himself a football fan, Thomas wrote that both Euro 2021 and Copa America are being held in packed stadiums in Europe and Brazil, respectively. “These events not only boost morale of the people but also help in reviving economies,” he wrote. He has suggested that the vaccination drive should be taken directly under the PMO and all vaccination and testing be tracked through a government mobile app.

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