Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh, who has been in oblivion for a while, was back in the spotlight on Sunday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking his name in his speech at the ground-breaking ceremony for infrastructure projects in Lucknow. Modi said that in the past people in the government would meet industrialists secretly and there would not even be any photos of the meetings. “Amar Singh is sitting here. He has all the history,” the Prime Minister said with a smile. People in the gathering too laughed and cameras turned towards Amar Singh, who was among the guests wearing a saffron kurta.
WITH IMRAN Khan poised to become the next Prime Minister of Pakistan, a former BJP member recalled how he met the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief at his residence in Bani Gala, on the outskirts of Islamabad, in February 2017. He had a 30-minute one-on-one meeting with him, during which Imran told him: “Peace between Pakistan and India is the only option. And dialogue is the only way of resolving all the outstanding issues between our two countries.” It seems the establishment has an interlocutor-in-waiting.
MINISTER OF State (Home) Kiren Rijiju was first to back actress Kangana Ranaut’s statement on the Prime Minister in which the actress described Narendra Modi as the “most deserving and rightful leader of a democracy”. On Kangana’s statement, the minister tweeted, “Honest expression by talented Kangana Ranaut who has nothing to gain from politics but as an Indian desires to see our nation prosperous & powerful. Our talented actors from film industry contribute immensely through meaningful films & TV shows as well as valuable social works.”
SAMAJWADI PARTY leader and Lok Sabha MP Mulayam Singh Yadav skipped the party’s national executive meeting held at the party headquarters in Lucknow on Saturday. The meeting was chaired by his son Akhilesh Yadav, who took command of the party before assembly polls last year. Mulayam had also skipped the convention held in Agra in October last year to formally elect Akhilesh as party president. After his absence from the second consecutive major meeting Saturday, party insiders feel the party patriarch was trying to avoid sharing stage with Akhilesh. Leaders claimed that Mulayam was absent as he was not a member of national executive committee. But a senior party leader said Mulayam is founder and patron of party and hence he could attend any meeting where the party has to take important decisions. Saturday’s meeting was to decide pre-poll alliances with other parties and Akhilesh had sought written opinion from senior leaders on the matter.