Even senior Congress office-bearers seem to be running out of patience with the delay in the elevation of Rahul Gandhi as the party president. Party treasurer Motilal Vora was not expecting questions along those lines when he called all AICC secretaries for a meeting to discuss ways to increase the subscription of party mouthpiece, Congress Sandesh, and to make the party’s ongoing membership drive a success. One of the secretaries asked Vora what was preventing Rahul from taking charge as party president. Stumped, Vora could not offer any convincing reply. A few others then persisted with the question, without any satisfactory answer.
Following feedback that the continuing pandemonium in Parliament is adversely affecting the image of their parties, some Opposition leaders are apparently in favour of breaking the deadlock and having a debate on the demonetisation decision in the House. At the meeting of Opposition leaders on Monday morning, Anand Sharma of the Congress is learnt to have told the others that it would be better if a discussion in Parliament was started. The others agreed with Sharma, but were wary of beginning the discussion on Monday itself. They were of the view that news coming in from Chennai, on Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s health, would dominate the headlines on Monday, and their own voice on demonetisation would be drowned. As a result, Parliament remained paralysed on Monday as well.
Over The Moon
Milind Deora of the Congress and Anurag Thakur of BJP recently went to Norway, and were flown to the Arctic for a familiarisation trip. The Norwegian embassy has posted pictures of them visiting their country, and Svalbard, which is in the Arctic. While the leaders from the rival parties were seen bonding together, Deora reportedly told the Norwegians that being in Arctic was something closer to being on the moon.
Notwithstanding their confrontations in the House, most MPs from opposing political camps share warmth and a friendly relationship outside. BJP MP Riti Pathak was clearly overwhelmed when Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav stopped her in Parliament on Monday and complimented the young MP from Sidhi in Madhya Pradesh for her interventions in the House. “When you speak, I listen to you. You speak well,” Yadav told her. Thanking the veteran leader, Pathak said, “This is my good fortune. Your blessings should continue.”