The Naidu way
Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu completed two years in office on Sunday, when there was an event in Chennai. There Home Minister Amit Shah unveiled Naidu’s book Listening, Learning, Leading, chronicling “two years of energetic, extensive engagement”. “My thoughts always on my role in transforming India,” Naidu states in the book. According to his office, Naidu has had 330 major public engagements, presided over 123 sittings of the Rajya Sabha, and visited 19 countries. The 257-page book has 232 photographs of Naidu’s public engagements and a chapter on the “turnaround” in the functioning of the Rajya Sabha. The book notes in detail the success of the e-notice initiative that Naidu has introduced for Rajya Sabha members. In the just-concluded Rajya Sabha session, MPs submitted over 9,000 notices online, accounting for about 60 per cent of all such notices submitted.
Spirited speech by Rahul
The Congress on Friday had a meeting in New Delhi to discuss its position on scrapping the provisions of Article 370. Most top leaders — party general secretaries, state unit chiefs, and Chief Ministers Ashok Gehlot and V Narayanasamy — attended. Chief Ministers Kamal Nath, Amarinder Singh, and Bhupesh Baghel were absent, and Rahul Gandhi reached the meeting more than an hour late. Sources, however, said he made amends for his late entry by giving a spirited speech. Gandhi asked those who wanted the party to support scrapping Article 370 how many more votes the Congress could hope to get if it did. The answer in unison was “zero”. Sources said party General Secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia, who went public opposing the Congress stand on the issue, apologised to Gandhi for his public statement.
TMC makes a point
With the Congress directionless and the legislative strength of the Left parties decimated, the Trinamool Congress believes it has represented the real voice of the Opposition in the just-concluded Parliament session. The Trinamool has collated information to state that its members performed better than those of all other parties — not just the Congress but also the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) —in raising issues during the Zero Hours in the two Houses and in contributing to debates on Bills. According to its data, Trinamool members' contribution to debates on various Bills in proportion to the number of its members was worse that of only the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, but better than that of the BJP and Congress, while its MPs' Zero Hour mentions were better than those of all these parties.