The Standing Committee on Information Technology that met on Tuesday had seven out of eight attendees from the ruling party and panel chairman Shashi Tharoor was the only Opposition member. BJP members used the opportunity to underline Tharoor’s initial remarks welcoming the ban on apps and requested him to stick to the stand. When a member raised the issue of Chinese app CamScanner being used by the CBI and state police and asked whether their documents would be accessed by the Chinese, another is learnt to have said in jest that their documents were about criminals and it may just frighten the Chinese if they access them.
With the resumption of physical meetings and state visits, a number of senior BJP leaders are going into quarantine. Party general secretary Ram Madhav and Union minister Jitendra Singh have gone into self-isolation after returning from Jammu and Kashmir because the party’s state chief Ravinder Raina tested positive for Covid-19. Madhav was in Tripura before his Kashmir visit. Another general secretary, Bhupender Yadav has been quarantined after his visit to Bihar, where BJP office-bearers have tested positive. Yadav was also part of the Public Accounts Committee meeting in Parliament Building last week. Party MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar has tweeted that he was headed for a seven-day quarantine after a staffer in the committee secretariat tested positive. Around half a dozen other BJP members also attended the PAC meeting.
The family of late Union minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley has decided to use the family pension for a former Parliamentarian to aid junior employees of the Rajya Sabha. Based on a request by Jaitley’s wife, Sangeeta Jaitley, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat has approved a new welfare scheme titled Shri Arun Jaitley Financial Assistance for Group C Employees Scheme. It will award three scholarships to children of such employees, or financial assistance in case of medical emergency or death. Sangeeta Jaitley discussed the idea in a letter to Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu last year, saying she did not want to “undermine the noble sentiment” behind the pension but asked that it be deployed “towards the welfare of the most needy segment of the institution which Arun served for almost two decades”, and has already donated Rs 3 lakh.
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