Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday gave a comic spin to claims and counter-claims on his rising popularity on Twitter, but it triggered a political slugfest. Rahul tweeted a video of his pet dog, Pidi, doing namaste while standing up on its haunches. The accompanying comment said, “Ppl been asking who tweets for this guy..I’m coming clean..it’s me..Pidi..I’m way [image] than him. Look what I can do with a tweet..oops..treat!”
Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took a swipe at Rahul with a counter-tweet: “Sir @OfficeOfRG, who knows him better than me. Still remember you busy feeding biscuits 2 him while We wanted to discuss urgent Assam’s issues.” This prompted Congress leaders to hit back. Pawan Khera asked, “was it in that very meeting that we got to know who was more loyal?” while Sushmita Dev, MP from Assam, tweeted emojis of dogs with a comment “We also know you better now”.
With Union minister K J Alphons all set to be elected to the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan, the other vacant seat of BJP in the Upper House from Uttar Pradesh could go to Hardeep Puri, the other Union minister who needs to be elected to Parliament within four months. The BJP on Sunday announced Alphons as its candidate from Rajasthan for the November 16 Rajya Sabha elections. That leaves the RS seat vacated by Goa CM Manohar Parrikar in UP for Puri. Parrikar, who won the by-election from Panaji on August 28, resigned from the RS early September.
Away And Absent
Senior Cabinet ministers Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley were not present at the BJP’s post-Diwali get-together at the party office last Saturday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah were in attendance. In their absence, ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi gave company to Modi and Shah on the dais. While Jaitley was in Mumbai for a scheduled function, Rajnath Singh, too, was out of town for a function of Sanskar Bharti, a RSS-affiliated organisation.