Pre-Truth — snappy, witty and significant snippets from the world of politics and government.
MPs say they were unable to get 3 lakh social media followers
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s instructions to party MPs to get three lakh social media followers have been withdrawn, though not formally. At a meeting with them at the party headquarters last March, the Prime Minister had also promised to interact through video-conferencing with party workers of the constituencies whose representatives in Parliament achieved the target. Subsequently, many MPs approached the party leadership, explaining their inability to follow the instructions as there were not that many social media followers in their constituencies. Their arguments were apparently accepted as the party leadership is no longer judging their popularity by the number of social media followers, said BJP MPs.
For Rahul, book launch a political event
At the launch of journalist Karan Thapar’s book Devil’s Advocate, Congress president Rahul Gandhi was the guest of honour. Gandhi came and spoke for eight minutes but nowhere did he mention the book or the author. He delivered a political speech talking about love and hate among politicians. Veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani and his daughter Pratibha attended the event. He smiled when Gandhi mentioned him in his speech saying he might have a difference of opinion with Advani but he would hug him. After the event, when mediapersons approached Advani for his comment on Rahul’s ‘jadu ki jhappi’, Advani was all willing to talk about it but was stopped by his daughter at the last moment.
Modi skips screening of film on his life, again
As the short film Chalo Jeete Hai, based on the early life of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is being screened extensively this week — for President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu and Speaker Sumitra Mahajan — PM Modi himself is not present as he is travelling abroad on a three-nation tour. It seems the PM prefers not to be present at such events where books or movies by him or on him are being presented, and the schedule for such releases/screenings is often drawn up according to his travel plans.
Earlier this year, when his book Exam Warriors was launched by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on 3 February, Modi was in Guwahati for the inaugural session of Advantage Assam Summit. Last year, when his book Mann Ki Baat: A Social Revolution on Radio was released by then President Pranab Mukherjee and Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on 26 May, again PM Modi was not present in the capital. He was inaugurating India’s longest bridge over the Lohit river in Assam.
PMO keeping a tab on MPs’ attendance in Parliament
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is known to rebuke MPs if they do not attend Parliament for no valid reasons. If some of them were looking forward to the Prime Minister’s foreign visits for obvious reasons, they were in for a shock. A list of MPs who have attended and who have missed the Parliament session is being prepared on a daily basis which will be sent to the PMO. A minister explained that floor managers have become stricter about attendance as the PMO is scrutinising the list closely.
Abhay Chautala hell-bent on losing weight ahead of polls
Politicians in Haryana are preparing for a gruelling campaign schedule with barely a year to go for state assembly elections. The “heavyweight” Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Abhay Chautala is trying to lose weight to gain more political heft. He is seen sweating it out at an upscale gym in a five-star hotel in Gurugram. Out of power for 14 years, Chautala can’t afford to let his girth come in the way of his search for more political weight.
Punjab minister wants cop suspended for touching his feet
Punjab cabinet minister Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa seems to detest what many politicians love: People touching their feet. Bajwa was so upset over a uniformed cop touching his feet that he asked his seniors to suspend him. The cop had gone to meet Bajwa at his residence to seek a favour. Bajwa has put up a notice outside the meeting hall of his house in Fatehgarh Churian and his office in the secretariat in Chandigarh, asking visitors not to touch his feet. The message from Bajwa reads: “Visitors are most respectfully requested not to touch my feet and embarrass me and themselves in the process.”
CM Fadnavis defers poll campaign due to Maratha stir
The Maratha protests are said to have spoilt the campaign plans of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. The CM, who enthusiastically campaigns for his party for assembly or parliamentary bypolls as well as local elections, was scheduled to hold public meetings in Sangli for municipal polls Friday. However, realising that a campaign tour brandishing the BJP government’s achievements may not be a good idea right in the middle of protests across Maharashtra, the tour was called off, party sources said. A local leader said, the CM’s public meetings may be scheduled for 30 July now. The elections to the corporations, where the Congress is currently in majority, are due on 1 August.
Contributors: D.K. Singh, Kumar Anshuman, Ruhi Tewari, Pragya Kaushika, Chitleen K. Sethi and Manasi Phadke