Parliament diary: Rahul Gandhi makes presence felt on Twitter, Ruckus in Lower House and sparring over Karti

Panned by the social media for his breezy weekend visit to ‘Nani in Italy’ when the Congress was getting wiped out in the Northeast, Rahul Gandhi was back in Delhi.

Published: 06th March 2018 02:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th March 2018 05:05 AM   |  A+A-

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaks during a press conference after a Cabinet meeting in New Delhi on Thursday. | PTI

Express News Service

Rahul makes presence felt on Twitter
Panned by the social media for his breezy weekend visit to ‘Nani in Italy’ when the Congress was getting wiped out in the Northeast, Rahul Gandhi was back in Delhi. He promptly registered his presence through Twitter, bypassing Parliament. The buzz, earlier, was he would fly straight to Singapore from his family vacation. A two-day ‘official’ trip has been lined by his party in Singapore on  March 8-9, and in Malaysia on March 10, as part of an international outreach programme. But the Congress chief who takes his political messaging on the micro-blogging site rather ‘seriously’, obviously more than the poll results, changed the itinerary to return some of the heat he faced on Twitter. On Tuesday, he may face more heat from the treasury benches.

Italian elections!
Senior Congress leaders, meanwhile, were left to face the ridicule for Rahul Gandhi’s absence and the Northeast debacle on the first day of the second-half of the Budget Session. Well, before veterans, like Kamal Nath and Ahmed Patel, could say ‘Jack Robinson’, their former understudy Himanta Biswa Sarma had cobbled up a non-Congress majority in Meghalaya. Making most of the Congress plight, FM Arun Jaitley quipped: “Now they’re now being sent to Italy as observers.’’ Apparently, local body elections are on there as well, citing which BJP chief Amit Shah too had taken a dig at his Congress counterpart.

Ruckus in Lower House
The media personnel had a hard time figuring out who was protesting about what on in the Lok Sabha Well on Monday. TDP MPs were shouting slogans for ‘special status’ to their states, the TMC and the Congress tried to outshout each on Nirav Modi-Mehul Choksi loan scam, not to be left behind the TRS too joined in full measure. As “Pradhan mantri jawab do” reached a crescendo, PM just walked off in a huff; the House was adjourned thereafter. It’s going to be no different on Tuesday, the Well of the two Houses will continue to resemble a protest zone, Andhra Pradesh MPs promised.

Sparring over Karti
An upbeat Arun Jaitley openly warned ace Congress lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi in the Central Hall, “Be prepared for a bombshell from the CBI” on Karti Chidambaram. In a throwaway line, FM added: “It’s a water-tight case,” to which Singhvi replied that he’s “briefed by his client not the CBI”.

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