Kejriwal’s aide gets engaged after DDMA allows 200 guests. But no one cares for masks
On 31 October, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority revised the guidelines for assembly in the city, allowing 200 guests in “marriage-related gatherings” instead of the earlier 50 in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The timing of the move raised eyebrows, as Delhi is in the throes of a “third wave” of Covid, according to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and is scaling daily highs in new cases — 6,725 were detected Tuesday.
Four days later, Aswathi Muralidharan, member of the Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi and one of Kejriwal’s closest aides since his days as an RTI activist with the NGO Parivartan, got engaged to Rohit Kumar.
Kejriwal attended the ceremony and tweeted photos along with wishes for the would-be couple. He could be seen wearing a mask, though.
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 4, 2020
The DDMA’s revised guidelines on the number of guests certainly came at an opportune moment for Aswathi and Rohit. However, nobody seemed to bother much about the rest of the order. The photos that Kejriwal tweeted showed almost everybody, with the exception of the CM himself, without a mask.
The DDMA order states: “In closed spaces, a maximum of 50 per cent of the hall capacity will be allowed, with a ceiling of 200 persons. Wearing of face masks, maintaining social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and use of hand wash or sanitiser will be mandatory.”
Deve Gowda grandsons’ simmering feud comes out in the open
The rivalry between former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda’s grandsons — Prajwal Revanna, son of H.D. Revanna, and Nikhil Kumaraswamy, son of former Karnataka CM H.D. Kumaraswamy — is no secret in the state’s political circles. But it is now coming out in the open.
Addressing a public rally in Sira recently, Nikhil skipped any mention of Revanna and his parliamentarian son Prajwal. This enraged Revanna’s supporters in the Janata Dal (Secular), who want a public apology from Nikhil.
Senior JD(S) leaders are, however, seeking to play the incident down, saying it was an “inadvertent mistake” by Nikhil, who had unsuccessfully contested from Mandya in the last Lok Sabha elections.
Prajwal had won from Hassan, Deve Gowda’s old constituency. JD(S) insiders say that Nikhil has been upset since his defeat.
Principal economic adviser’s silent support for arrested Arnab Goswami
The arrest of Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami by the Maharashtra Police led to a series of protests from many quarters. Leading the protests were cabinet ministers in the Narendra Modi government — from Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, who likened the arrest to the treatment meted out to the press during the days of the Emergency, to Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani, who said those journalists not speaking up for Goswami are tactically supporting fascism.
We condemn the attack on press freedom in #Maharashtra. This is not the way to treat the Press. This reminds us of the emergency days when the press was treated like this.@PIB_India @DDNewslive @republic
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) November 4, 2020
Those in the free press who don’t stand up today in support of Arnab, you are now tactically in support of fascism. You may not like him, you may not approve of him,you may despise his very existence but if you stay silent you support suppression. Who speaks if you are next ?
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) November 4, 2020
Cabinet ministers also openly criticised the Shiv Sena-led government in Maharashtra for the arrest.
But one key member of the administration who made a statement without saying a word was Sanjeev Sanyal, principal economic adviser in the finance ministry.
Sanyal changed his Twitter display picture to one from Goswami’s arrest Wednesday — it showed a mask-clad Goswami behind an iron window-grille inside a police vehicle.