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Arvind Kejriwal wants Delhiites to carry mobile phones everywhere except his office & home

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Pre-Truth — snappy, witty and significant snippets from the world of politics and government.

The only place off-limits for phones in Kejriwal’s Delhi

Remember Arvind Kejriwal urging people to record any bribe demand on their mobile phones? The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi may have conveniently forgotten about it, but the chief minister has certainly drawn a lesson. There is a notice board at his residence, as also the entrance of his office, forbidding visitors from taking their mobiles inside. The mobiles have to be deposited with the security staff. An AAP MLA had a telling comment to offer: “Don’t you know, the king is above all?”

Sherpas in Congress manifesto panel have (odd) task cut out

There are 19 members in the committee formed by Congress president Rahul Gandhi to thrash out the party’s manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Each of these members has been assigned a young assistant, designated a ‘sherpa’.

The term, used to describe Himalayan mountain guides, is also the official moniker for the top-ranking officials or diplomats who represent a country at pre-summit deliberations for high-level events such as G20 or G8.

But lest you confuse the two, the role of the Congress sherpas is to arrange meetings and make travel arrangements for the manifesto panel members.

Why the clients of these high-profile lawyers ought to be worried

For over a week now, several high-profile lawyers, including P. Chidambaram, Janak Dwarkadas, Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi, have been walking in and out of one courtroom in the Supreme Court.

The reason is that Justice Rohinton Nariman and Justice Indu Malhotra are hearing a few important cases in detail, and lawyers for other cases listed for the day are forced to simply wait for the turn, without knowing if it will even arrive.

Normally, when the judges know that a particular case is going to take up the rest of the day, they discharge the board and relieve the lawyers. But this week, the judges have been listing over two dozen cases every day, although just one or two take up their entire day.

The clients, however, might have to end up paying senior advocates for waiting in the court.

Also read: Ajit Doval’s trip to Bihar — personal visit or political recruitment drive?

The channels who chose Bhagwat speech over big FM presser

If you were watching TV news channels Monday evening, you probably saw the clout the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has come to wield under the NDA dispensation at the Centre.

All channels were going live with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s speech on the Sangh’s ideology at Vigyan Bhavan in the national capital. Channels such as Republic TV, Aaj Tak and India TV continued with the live telecast of the RSS event even as union finance minister Arun Jaitley began a press conference to announce the merger of Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank with Bank of Baroda. Public broadcaster DD was one of the few channels that switched to the finance minister’s presser.

Why this senior Congress leader was intercepted by SPG

When Congress president Rahul Gandhi stopped for tea and snacks at a tea shop in Bhopal during his road show Monday, his special protection group (SPG) detail allowed all but one senior state party leader into the shop.

Congress general secretary in-charge of Madhya Pradesh, Deepak Babaria, is a low-profile leader from Gujarat, and the SPG obviously didn’t recognise him.

Rahul’s close aide Alankar Sawai eventually intervened to get Babaria into the shop.

The incident has become a talking point in a party in which many are yet to come to terms with rising stars such as Babaria.

Also read: When the internet tripped up NaMo at key BJP meet

Just who represents arrested activists? The jury is out

A curious question is doing the rounds in the Supreme Court about the case involving the arrest of activists by Maharashtra police. Accused of Maoist links, the activists were arrested as part of the investigation into the Bhima-Koregaon clashes this January.

Although a battery of senior advocates is arguing for the petitioners, no one really knows who has the brief for the case and who does not.

In the immediate aftermath of the arrests, activist-advocates Prashant Bhushan and Vrinda Grover briefed senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi and rounded up a few other senior lawyers as a show of strength (These included Rajeev Dhawan, who incidentally funds the Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group, which is owned by one of those arrested, Sudha Bharadwaj).

Senior lawyer Indira Jaising was briefed by Maharashtra-based activists appearing for Surendra Gadling and others arrested in July. Meanwhile, Raju Ramachandran and Nitya Ramakrishnan appeared for Gautam Navlakha, another of the arrested activists, as senior advocates Dushyant Dave, Sanjay Hegde, and Huzefa Ahmedi were present for “moral support”.

However, at the last hearing, former union law minister Ashwani Kumar marked himself present and was seen asking lawyers to brief him for the next hearing.

The odd governor out

As part of his ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent out personal letters to different sections of society, including eminent citizens from different fields, intellectuals, civil society members, journalists and others.

The PM also wrote to every state, choosing their chief ministers as representatives. The only non-chief minister who received a letter as the representative of his state was Jammu & Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik.

(Contributors: Rajgopal Singh, Kumar Anshuman, Apurva Vishwanath and Ruhi Tewari)

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