In the virtual meet hosted by Sonia Gandhi with chief ministers of seven Opposition-governed states, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Congress president displayed a brief bonhomie. Although Sonia called for the meet, she requested Banerjee to take over and moderate the rest of the session after she ended her speech. Banerjee politely refused, saying that although she was honoured, the senior leader must moderate it. After another round of requests to each other, the two leaders agreed that Banerjee would invite the next speaker – Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren – after which Sonia would take over.
After coming up with novel ideas such as free distribution of lemon juice and pineapple to improve immunity to battle coronavirus, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb now wants to introduce ways to strengthen them spiritually. Deb is distributing books on Swami Vivekananda to Covid-19 patients. “Strength is life, weakness is death,” he told patients quoting Vivekananda. “To keep Covid-19 patients motivated and mentally strong we have decided to distribute books written on Swami Vivekananda…it is very important to stay calm and energetic when we are fighting against Covid-19,” he posted on Facebook.
Online, At Last
While many courts across the country, including the Supreme Court, moved to virtual hearings in the wake of the pandemic, the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) did not have this facility until now—its principal bench in Delhi was conducting hearings physically. But the principal bench has now initiated hearings for the 10 regional benches through video-conferencing. In the physical hearings since June 8, the registrar of the principal bench said, the AFT maintained “impeccable hygiene standards” with regular sanitisation, minimum people allowed with proper social distancing, and advocates separated by a transparent sheet from the judges.
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