Pre-Truth — snappy, witty and significant snippets from the world of politics and government.
When Ambedkar ‘went missing’ from Modi’s speech
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered an impassioned speech at the BJP Karyakarta Mahakumbh rally in Bhopal Tuesday, many were struck by how one national hero he often invokes was conspicuously absent in mention. The upper caste backlash against the BJP in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh has obviously got the party and its leadership very worried, with chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan recently announcing measures to pacify them. The upper castes, who form BJP’s traditional vote-bank, have been upset with the party because of what they see as its attempts to woo backward castes, especially Dalits.
During his 45-minute speech in Bhopal, the PM invoked leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Ram Manohar Lohia and Deendayal Upadhyaya, but steered clear of making any reference to Ambedkar, who otherwise has been quite a permanent fixture in Modi’s speeches in recent times.
Tejashwi, Tej skipped RJD function
On 23 September, the RJD celebrated the birth anniversary of former Bihar chief minister Bhola Paswan Shastri. The event at Sri Krishna Memorial Hall in Patna was to be attended by Tejashwi Yadav. The hall was full before time and Tejashwi was expected to arrive at 11 am. People started getting restless as he didn’t turn up despite repeated announcements about his arrival. As it turned out, Tejashwi was in Delhi. Desperate RJD leaders contacted his brother Tej Pratap, requesting him to come. Tej Pratap learnt about the reason for their desperation and refused. As a result, when RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh started his speech, most of the audience was gone. The hall was booked for a ramp show in the second half and so the participants had arrived by the time Singh started speaking. So every time he attacked prime minister Narendra Modi over the controversial Rafale deal, the crowd shouted “Modi, Modi”, much to his embarrassment.
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Is Sitaram Yechury Rahul’s election adviser?
An otherwise bullish Congress spokesperson recently toned down his posturing when a conversation about state-specific alliances was going on. He said Rahul Gandhi had indeed changed from his previous ‘now-you-see-now-you-don’t’ avatar, but he lacks a deeper understanding of how election engineering works. Then he offered a brutal analysis. “You will understand what the Congress is lacking when you see that Sonia Gandhi had H.K.S. Surjeet as an adviser; and Rahul Gandhi has Sitaram Yechury!”
Congress can’t dictate to us how to conduct polls, says EC
The Election Commission, which is already facing allegations of working under pressure from the BJP-led government, submitted an angrily-worded affidavit in the Supreme Court last week in response to a petition filed by the Congress. The opposition party and its leaders cannot tell the EC how to conduct elections, the affidavit said. While the usual suspects, including leaders from the Congress, criticised the affidavit for its alleged bias against the party, it turns out that even some of the senior ECI officials were unhappy about the affidavit’s tone and tenor. The issue, was, in fact, raised in a meeting of the EC in which some senior officials pointed out that the affidavit should have been more balanced in the way it was worded.
Bad weather affected Modi’s Sikkim tour
The bad weather conditions prevailing over the last few days with rain lashing parts of the country have affected not just the common traveller/commuter, but also Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team. The PM, who was in Sikkim for two days to inaugurate the state’s first airport, was scheduled to take a chopper from Gangtok to Pakyong Monday morning for the event. However, poor weather conditions in the morning meant the team had to wait for a go ahead on whether a chopper ride was advisable. With the weather remaining dicey, it was finally decided the PM would drive down to the venue instead. Modi and the team accompanying him were, thus, forced to opt for a 45-minute drive instead of the around 15-minute chopper ride.
Also read: Arvind Kejriwal wants Delhiites to carry mobile phones everywhere except his office & home
Both BJP, Shiv Sena claim credit for coastal road plan
The Mumbai civic body’s approval of the bids for the construction of a multi-crore showpiece coastal road in the city sparked a credit war between the BJP and its bitter ally Shiv Sena. Shiv Sena corporators in the Sena-led Mumbai civic body claimed that the idea of a coastal road was first floated by their chief Uddhav Thackeray in 2013 and the party firmly believes that it can fulfil its promises. Thackeray scion Aaditya also tweeted how it was his father who first presented the project in 2013. BJP corporators in Mumbai, on the other hand, hailed CM Devendra Fadnavis, saying the project has reached this stage only because of his efforts. What both parties, however, conveniently forgot was the fact that it was actually former Congress CM Prithviraj Chavan who first pushed for a coastal road in 2011 as an alternative to building costly sea links.
Why SC junked idea to hire researcher for collegium work
CJI-designate Ranjan Gogoi’s bid to hire a researcher ran into choppy waters earlier this week. The Supreme Court had requested National Law University, Delhi, to interview law graduates, preferably those with foreign degrees, to work with apex court’s registrar general Ravindra Maithani on issues related the collegium. While the date for walk-in interviews was fixed, the idea was later junked after the university apparently received complaints of discrimination against graduates with Indian degrees.
Top court refused to expunge remarks against lawyers
CJI Dipak Misra, who retires next week, has been extremely busy these days — he delivered several landmark verdicts in the past five days. One matter that was not on the radar was a curious application filed by senior advocate Indira Jaising seeking to expunge remarks the court made against lawyers arguing for the petitioners. The court Wednesday refused to expunge the remarks but clarified it was not made specifically against her. Justice Chandrachud who wrote the verdict had criticised lawyers for “politicising” the issue. Unlike Parliament, the court cannot erase remarks. Jaising, who took the criticism personally, even engaged Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi to argue for her.
(Contributors: Ruhi Tewari, Kumar Anshuman, Sanya Dhingra, Manasi Phadke & Apurva Vishwanath)
There is another reason for CJs rejecting the idea of junking the proposal for hiring consultants for colligiams back office job. Possibility of the entire process being rigged. Harshamoy mukherjee
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