Time out for MPs
Trust politicians to find a reason for everything. The Congress MPs from Kerala — there are 17 of them who support the UPA — have zeroed in on why they got late for Question Hour in Lok Sabha on November 30 — and are now on a mission to correct this. That day 34 MPs were absent and the Congress ones were pulled up. Most of these 17 MPs have now approached Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel. They want the Indian Airlines flight from Thiruvananthapuram to take off at 5 or 5.30 am instead of the usual 6.30 am so that they reach Delhi well before Parliament meets at 11 am on Monday.
Always cast in stone
In an unusual development, brass nameplates identifying India’s iconic figures have been put at the bottom of their statues outside the Central Hall of Parliament. Any visitor to Parliament has to pass a huge statue of Mahatma Gandhi before anything else. But once inside, there is a courtyard where giant statues of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan, and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad stand on either side. This area has restricted entry for only those who are entitled to go to the Central Hall. Looking at the nameplates, a veteran parliamentarian wondered why would these legendary leaders need to be identified. If MPs do not know who they are then they should not be in Parliament.
A speed breaker here
After three months of hectic schedule, work at the Human Resource Development ministry has come to a standstill. According to sources, officials are quite discouraged after two of the education bills (a bill to create an educational tribunal and a bill to punish educational malpractices) that they hoped to introduce in the winter session was deferred by the Cabinet and sent to the Group of Ministers (GoM) for consultation. Sources also said that the minister was considering sending the third bill (on accreditation of educational institutes) to the GoM himself. Why wait for the Cabinet to axe the bill, is the common consensus in the ministry.
Forty winks on prices
Senior BJP member Najma Heptullah, for once, was caught on the wrong foot. During a discussion on price rise in the Rajya Sabha, she had dozed off. Suddenly waking up, she demanded that the deputy chairperson K. Rahman Khan should ask the Finance Minister to come to the House for addressing the members’ concerns. Khan said there was no need for that since the agriculture minister was already there.
A brotherhood that matters
When Karnataka was in deep crisis over Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s future, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj played the mediator. Now, it is the CM’s turn to oblige Swaraj. Her husband, Swaraj Kaushal, has been appointed one of the standing counsels for Karnataka. With the Reddys under probe for mining irregularities, Kaushal’s appointment has raised eyebrows in BJP circles.