Rajya Sabha to look different
The Upper House will see some drastic changes in the next session. Mayawati, a sharp speaker, has resigned her seat. Next to go would be Sitaram Yechury. His sparring matches with Arun Jaitley have always been the talk of the corridors of Parliament.
With Yechury’s term ending, the sting is likely to go from the opposition attack. The treasury benches are understandably smug about the development, though on record it’s being said that Yechury will be missed.
Another change is expected. Though not a hard-hitter, Sharad Yadav’s biting humour often left the government uncomfortable. With Nitish Kumar switching camps, Yadav will have to shift to the treasury benches.
Shah in Parliament
The spacious BJP parliamentary party office is getting spruced for Amit Shah. Once elected to the RS, he’s expected to meet MPs and the media on a regular basis. It would be easy access for both.
But some of them fear that leaving early on Friday may be difficult. With Shah there to play monitor, lack of numbers in the treasury benches that helped the Congress/opposition push out a key clause from the 123rd Constitutional Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha, will not happen. He’s said to have already ticked them off — this is the second time the government was embarrassed because of missing MPs.
Lalu’s angry daughter
What Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharati is up to in Parliament is generating much interest. Like it was noted that Congress leader and Supreme Court lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi made a beeline for her. Misa is noticeable angry after the CBI, ED raids on her properties. Earlier she would call senior JD-U leaders “my uncles’’, now they are “Bhivishans’’.
Will AIADMK join the NDA when the Cabinet is next expanded? Well, that’s in the realm of speculation. Leaders and MPs of the two AIADMK factions refuse to give credence to it.
V. Maitreyan of the OPS group termed the merger talk as “fake news created by those who are into day-dreaming”. Ruling out any unity between OPS and EPS, he asserted: “It’s not a possibility” under the current circumstances.”
Maitreyan added: “Nothing is going to happen before the 2019 polls. Prime Minister Modi may expand his cabinet soon, but AIADMK will not be a part of it.”
The MPs of the two factions, however, often sit together in the Central Hall for their afternoon tea and vada. One of them, from the EPS faction, intoned: “Why would the Prime Minister induct us into his Cabinet? We’re supporting them on all issues - on everything.’’
Indeed, both factions supported Ram Nath Kovind and will be casting their votes in Venkaiah Naidu’s favour in the vice presidential poll. A top BJP minister side-stepped the issue: “It’s the Prime Minister’s prerogative.” But deputy speaker M Thambidurai is said to be keen on a Cabinet post.