The Congress party was ecstatic to see the Parliament speech of Rohtak MP Deepender Singh Hooda on FDI in retail go viral on the social media, interpreting it as an endorsement of the government’s policy, especially by the youth.
Hooda has uploaded his speech on his Facebook account, which has attracted nearly six lakh views and about 10,000 ‘likes’ thus far. The YouTube video of his speech had been viewed by about 13,000 people by Tuesday.
While there was no rebuttal from the Opposition to his substantive points in favour of FDI in multi-brand retail, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj had sought to take a jibe at him for claiming that Haryana farmers could even grow two-feet-long potatoes.
ALL their competitive politics apart, top BJP leaders — 16 of them including Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Murli Manohar Joshi, Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha and Ananth Kumar — were closeted with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and his two deputies for a presentation on the Indo-Bangla land boundary agreement on Tuesday. The MEA has already briefed leaders of the Left parties on this issue. However, they still need to brief the Trinamool Congress which rules West Bengal, and which is likely to be the biggest obstacle.
THE process of cleaning up the Railways from some not-so useful remnants of Mamata Banerjee’s tenure as railway minister has begun. It is learnt that the ministry has scrapped the special committees on passenger amenities and passenger services. Mamata’s close aides, artiste Suvaprasanna and TMC leader from North Bengal Joachim Buxla, headed these committees. The two had refused to step down from their posts even after the TMC’s separation from UPA. Railway officials said the two committees had not been useful as they hardly met and did not tell the Railways anything that the national transporter did not already know.
A FAVOURITE story of a recently retired air chief used to be how the Air House, the official residence of the Air Force chief, was shifted from near the residences of the Army chief and Navy chief on Rajaji Marg. Apparently, during the British times, one of the occupants of the Air House had an affair with the wife of another service chief, following which the residence of the Air Chief was shifted to Akbar Road. The story, whether true or not, brought a certain indignity to the Air House. The current Air Chief, N A K Browne, however, is having an enjoyable stint in that residence. Months after he moved in last year, his son’s wedding took place, with functions being held at the sprawling bungalow. On Friday, his daughter too is tying the knot. Several bigwigs have been called and are expected to attend the wedding, including the top political leadership of the nation.
THE BJP has taken its opposition to FDI in multi-brand retail sector quite seriously, notwithstanding the defeat it faced in the Parliament vote on this issue. It has published a booklet of speeches by its leaders in Parliament — Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Murli Manohar Joshi and M Venkaiah Naidu — during the debate. The booklet is being circulated among MPs and leaders of other parties. However, not many are sure about the political purpose that this exercise will serve.