Off the record

Off the record

Winged intruders
Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien is a man of immense patience when it comes to facing the ire of members who are forever unhappy with the chair. But, Kurien had a different problem to handle: buzzing mosquitoes that troubled everyone in the House in the last few days of the first phase of the Budget session. With the MPs forced to sit for longer hours after dusk, Samajwadi Party member Jaya Bachchan had to tell Kurien that the winged intruders troubled her and other MPs after 6 pm.
Union Ministers Najma Heptullah and Ravishankar Prasad also backed her, saying they faced the menace too and the chair was the sole protector of the House. Taking the issue seriously, Kurien asked the secretariat officials to crackdown on the “unelected presence” in the House. To the relief of the affected MPs, Kurien’s order saw the House functioning wit-hout the mosquito trouble beyond 9 pm on the last two days.
Shekhar Iyer, New Delhi

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Signal to MP CM?
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi made time in his busy schedule to meet with a Congress delegation that wanted to appraise him of the public employees’ recruitment scam involving Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, many senior Congress leaders were not only surprised but could not help wonder whether it had to anything to do with the BJP leader’s not-so-great ties with Chouhan.
However, when the Congress team that included Digvijaya Singh, Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Kapil Sibal presented the prime minister “solid evidence” against  Chouhan in connection with the irregularities in the recruitments in the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examinations Board, also known as Vyapam, Modi pointed to the MP CM’s strong defence of himself. Only a CBI probe will clear the air, contended the Congress leaders. The PM’s response was he would look into it.
SI, New Delhi

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LS regulars
Members of the 16th Lok Sabha appear to have taken keen interest in Parliament proceedings. As many as 56 members cutting across party lines have clocked 100 per cent attendance during sessions of Parliament. Prominent among them are Abhijeet Mukherjee, Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena), P P Chaudhary and S C Chaudhary (BJP). Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and BJP member Shobha Karandlaje are among 30 members who have 98 per cent attendance.
JMM leader Shibu Soren marked the lowest attendance – three per cent, followed by Deepak Adhikary (Trinamool) at eight. Congress Deputy Leader Amarinder Singh’s attendance at 13 per cent also ranked among those who were rarely present in Parliament. In the 15th Lok Sabha, only four members – K P Dhanapalan, Pratibha Singh, Ramesh Kumar and D K Suresh – had 100 per cent attendance. Of these Singh and Suresh were elected in 2013 byelections.
Sagar Kulkarni, New Delhi

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Furious MLAs
Resentment is fast growing among the ruling party legislators in Rajasthan as most feel they have failed to keep up the promises made to the people of their respective constituencies. The level of frustration is evident from the fact that dozens of them have furiously attacked the ministers of their own party in the state assembly over the basic issues of road, water, cleanliness and power.
Off the record, many legislators admitted that no work is being done at ground level and that it was becoming difficult for them to face the people. The constituency development funds are the only medium they have been appeasing the people with till now. Despite facing criticism, they feel helpless because they cannot afford to invite the wrath of “Maharani” – Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje – for obvious reasons.
Abhishek Gaur, Jaipur

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T powerless
When it comes to settling scores no one can match Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao who was categorical when he declared on the floor of the Assembly that the state will not share electricity with Andhra Pradesh. “We have learnt to live without power and I must be thankful to (AP CM) Chandrababu Naidu for teaching us a valuable lesson, of fending for ourselves,” KCR said.
The very next day there was a reply thanking him for this wise decision. It was from the AP Transco (Transmission Corp Ltd) urging KCR to put his words into letters and post them to state government and also to the Southern Region Load Dispatch centre. Now AP Transco also wants KCR to cough up old bills. In all, Telangana has to pay Rs 2774 crore to AP Genco and Rs 1200 crore to AP’s Eastern Discom.
JBS Umanadh, Hyderabad.

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