Why did India’s CDS, in uniform, flag off a Chinese-made electric car at India Gate?
There was shock in defence circles this week when Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat was pictured flagging off the latest electric car from China-owned Morris Garages (MG).
We are proud to participate in the first-ever tech trial run from Delhi to Agra with the MG ZS EV. The #NHforEV2020 Tech Trial Run was flagged off by @M_Lekhi, and General Shri Bipin Singh Rawat at India Gate today. Know more: https://t.co/yVDG6ACwRa#ChangeWhatYouCan #NHForEV pic.twitter.com/ICX95Q8qHr
— Morris Garages India (@MGMotorIn) November 25, 2020
Gen. Rawat’s move raised eyebrows because India has been locked in a tense stand-off with China since April-May, which is still continuing over the harsh winter in Ladakh, and also because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to buy Indian.
Also seen in the pictures tweeted by MG was BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, who heads the joint parliamentary committee on the personal data protection bill, which had taken up the issue of Ladakh being geo-tagged as part of China by Twitter.
Notably, the car was flagged off from India Gate, with the CDS in his uniform. Defence ministry corridors and other circles were abuzz with speculation on why Gen. Rawat would go flagging-off a car, that too one made by a Chinese-owned company, at a time like this.
The event was a tech trial run aimed at putting more electric vehicles on the road by 2020, where MG Motors was one of the participants.
Apart from Gen. Rawat and Lekhi, Union minister of state for steel Faggan Singh Kulaste and Minister of State for Animal Husbandry Pratap Sarangi also attended the event.
India’s ex-envoy to UN tweets video depicting Pakistan as ‘crying wolf’
India’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Syed Akbaruddin, tweeted a meme of sorts Wednesday, taking a jibe at Pakistan.
On 25 November, Akbaruddin, now retired, posted a video of two howling wolves, titled ‘The crying wolf is back’. The ‘crying wolves’ footage was interspersed with three slides of instances when Pakistan has accused India of promoting terror and unrest on its soil.
The Crying Wolf is back… pic.twitter.com/OaSJ14EsId
— Syed Akbaruddin (@AkbaruddinIndia) November 25, 2020
The first slide is from the previous day, 24 November, when Pakistan shared a dossier with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, containing “evidence of India’s campaign to promote terrorism”.
The video then moves back to the ‘crying wolves’, before the second slide comes up with the date 7 January 2017 — it shows Pakistan’s former ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi handing over a dossier to Guterres, alleging India’s “interference” in Pakistan.
After another shot of the crying wolves, the next slide comes up — it’s from 2 October 2015, when Lodhi had handed over a similar dossier to the UN on “Indian links with terrorist activities”.
Akbaruddin’s video ends with “To be continued…”
India’s current ambassador to the UN, T.S. Tirumurti, had also called out Pakistan for its “dossier of lies” handed over to the UN on 24 November.
“Concocting documents and peddling false narratives is not new to Pakistan, host to worlds (sic) largest number of UN proscribed terrorists and entities. Remember Abbottabad!”
The “dossier of lies” presented by Pakistan enjoys zero credibility.
Concocting documents and peddling false narratives is not new to Pakistan, host to worlds largest number of UN proscribed terrorists and entities.
— PR UN Tirumurti (@ambtstirumurti) November 24, 2020
Family tension back in Samajwadi Party
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has announced that he will “adjust” his uncle Shivpal Yadav’s Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (PSP) on one seat in the 2022 assembly elections. The two parties are now allies, and Akhilesh has also offered a cabinet berth to his uncle if the alliance forms the government.
However, close aides of Shivpal Yadav say he is upset about this offer of one seat, because he’s looking to play an important role. But this is hardly the first time uncle and nephew have had a tense relationship — Shivpal had stormed out of the SP in 2017 due to his public differences with Akhilesh.
Shivpal has served as a cabinet minister with important portfolios under Akhilesh as well as his father Mulayam Singh Yadav’s SP governments. When party founder Mulayam celebrated his 82nd birthday earlier this week, he is said to have expressed a wish for the family to get united. And sources close to Mulayam say he wants Shivpal to play a bigger role in the 2022 polls.