Caught in the middle
During the standoff between the Congress and the NCP early this week,when Union Minister Praful Patel approached Congress president Sonia Gandhi at a function in the Central Hall of Parliament,she said,Praful,kuch to karo (Praful,do something). Before Patel could react,Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj,who was standing nearby,intervened: Kuch mat karo (Dont do anything). Pat came the reply from Patel: Pahle aap dono taya karo (First,you two decide amongst yourselves).
WHILE West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar are competing with each other to get Pranab Mukherjee to make his first Presidential visit to their respective states,Pravin Togadia of the VHP might have become the first to petition the new President. On Thursday,Togadia sent a petition to President of Bharat drawing his attention to the ethnic cleansing of original tribes,other Hindus and non-Muslims in Assam. The petition greeted the President with a Nomoskar and ended with the hope to see serene Durga Puja celebrations in your Presidential palace.
WHILE a high-level delegation led by Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken has left for the London Olympics,the plan of another minister to join them has been scuttled. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shuklas request to go to London for the opening ceremony has apparently been turned down by the Prime Minister because of the upcoming elections for Vice-President.
THE group of six Muslim MPs who met Home Minister P Chidambaram to express concern over the violence in Assam was originally supposed to be a much bigger contingent. It is learnt that K Rahman Khan,the Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka who was leading the group,had got in touch with about 25 MPs who had stayed back in Delhi after the Presidential swearing-in to go and meet the Home Minister. Many of them had agreed but backed out later. Till about an hour before the appointed time,about 10 MPs were supposed to go. But four of them decided against it at the last minute. It is learnt that some Muslim MPs were slightly uncomfortable about making it an issue of Muslim solidarity and feared that it might communalise the situation further.
THE Prime Ministers Office has never been so active in releasing information to the media. Since Pranab Mukherjee resigned as Finance Minister to run for President on June 25,as many as 22 media releases from the PMO have been put on the Press Information Bureau website,almost one every day. A slight lull was observed between July 3 and 11 before the enthusiasm picked up again. This,apart from updates on Twitter that have become a regular feature now.