Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday hosted a farewell dinner for Vice President Hamid Ansari, with House leaders of parties. Besides Prime Minister Narendra Modi, all ministers and Opposition leaders were present for the dinner, in which two points stuck out for many attendees.
First, invitations went out only in Hindi, with no note in English. It came as a cause for consternation for MPs who do not read Hindi. Second, the dinner was an all-vegetarian fare. TMC’s Derek O’Brien, in fact, tweeted afterward that he will “go home & have fish curry”.
Opposition leaders rendered some funny moments to Lok Sabha proceedings on Wednesday. When TMC’s Kalyan Banerjee was speaking on the Bill to extend GST to J&K, Congress’s Mallikarjun Kharge interrupted him and accused the treasury of not being serious in the discussion. He pointed out that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was not present.
The treasury protested, saying that MoS (finance) Santosh Gangwar was present, while BJP MP Anurag Thakur demanded the presence of Sonia Gandhi as well for the discussion. Amid the ruckus, Banerjee kept pleading repeatedly, “Please let me speak.” As Kharge insisted that he was on his side, Banerjee retorted, “You people speak your part, but when others are speaking you create ruckus.”
A Look Back
Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the Opposition’s Vice President candidate, paid a visit to the TMC office in Parliament on Thursday to tell the party’s MPs what he is fighting for. He spoke about his association with Kolkata, and recollected that when he finished his term as the West Bengal Governor —- during which he had taken on the Left on the issue of land acquisition — Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee had prophetically told him that his work in the state may be over but there were other, bigger assignments before him.
Two Sides of Coin
A law intern avidly watching the proceedings of Supreme Court in the privacy matter was heard exclaiming how senior counsel Kapil Sibal could argue for making privacy a fundamental right when he was also representing WhatsApp, whose privacy policies are being challenged in another case in the apex court.