When tables turn
In an ironic move, the Congress government in Rajasthan suspended internet mobile services in the state capital for its own protest march held on December 22 against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC). According to the circular of Rajasthan police the internet suspension was imposed in Jaipur in the wake of a possible deterioration in law and order during the rally. What left everyone amused was that the rally was led by CM Ashok Gehlot himself. The shutdown not only left people inconvenienced but also led to the income loss of many who survive on internet-based apps. The rally that was attended by thousands of protesters and members saw the deployment of over 7000 constables and additional high security.
Tabeenah Anjum, Jaipur
Modi, Imran share an award
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan finally share something. They both are now recipients of the same award — the highest civilian award of Bahrain. Modi was conferred the “King Hamad Order of the Renaissance” during a visit to Manama on August 25 this year. The award had a special significance for New Delhi’s outreach to the Persian Gulf as it came just a few weeks after Modi Government moved to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status. It was projected as an endorsement for Modi from an Islamic nation when Khan had launched a global campaign against him. King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain, however, struck a diplomatic balance this week. He not only hosted Khan in Manama on December 16, but also honoured him with the same award that he had conferred on Modi four months back.
Anirban Bhaumik, New Delhi
Internal politics a damper
When the ruling CPM led left-front in Kerala and the Congress-led Opposition United Democratic Front called for a joint protest in Kerala last Monday against CAA, it was received with acclaim. The unity, however, was short-lived owing to internal party politics in the Congress. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala formally announced the decision to join the protests initiated by Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, but many senior Congress leaders, including Kerala PCC president Mullpally Ramachandran, were only made aware of this decision after it was announced to the public. Many senior Congress leaders refrained from participating in the stir, while Ramachandran openly flayed it.
Naidu, the foodie
Vice president Venkaiah Naidu is known for hosting a feast for media persons and politicians in New Delhi. He ensured that the best Andhra food was served to journalists. When he invited a group of south Indian journalists for informal talks for tea at the Vice-President’s house recently, the scribes were served Mysuru Bonda, Onion Pakoda, Dharwad Mirchi, Girmit and Badam milk. Naidu asked the journalists to taste all the varieties of food. In the past, he said, whenever he visited a minister or a party leader, he would make sure to visit the best restaurant in the area and have local food, along with Arun Jaitley and Anant Kumar. However, though he is foodie, after becoming Vice President, he stopped eating so much food following the advice of doctors.
Ajith Athareddy, New Delhi
Ever since he lost the chief minister’s post in last year’s assembly election, Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s soul has become restless. His constant struggle to remain relevant in politics doesn’t seem to have impressed the BJP high command. He wanted to organise a ‘thanksgiving yatra’ soon after the assembly poll but the high command nixed his plan. His attempts to be appointed the post of leader of the opposition were thwarted. His sits-in against the Kamal Nath government on various issues don’t attract the party workers who once swore their loyalty to him. Chouhan was seen trying hard to outshine the leader of opposition Gopal Bhargava in the winter session of the Assembly. His enthusiasm only drew more jeers than cheers among the BJP MLAs. The former CM is also lobbying for state BJP president post but the high command doesn’t appear in a mood to oblige him.
Rakesh Dixit, Bhopal