While the three parliamentary financial committees of estimates, public accounts, and public undertakings have been put in place, the Central government is yet to constitute the 24 department-related standing committees even after three months of the 17th Lok Sabha being constituted. Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on Tuesday said these committees kept the government on its toes, and that Parliament could, from the next session, become a "sham", given the brute majority the government has in the Lok Sabha and its near majority in the Rajya Sabha. Yechury and other Opposition leaders are discussing the formation of a "people's platform" to raise issues relating to people's livelihood. This platform will likely include key Opposition parties and will soon discuss their coming together under a common charter. Meanwhile, the Left parties are continuing with their talks of unification but will form their own "people's platform".
PC’s ‘five’ jibe
As former finance minister P Chidambaram made his way out of a courtroom on Tuesday after the CBI special court remanded him in two more days of custody in the INX Media case, journalists waiting outside sought his comments. After greeting them with a namaskar, the seemingly unflappable Chidambaram quipped, “Five per cent. Do you know what 5 per cent is?" As the CBI functionaries took him away, he raised his right hand to show the five fingers, reminding people of the recently announced April-June GDP growth figure (5 per cent), the lowest in six years. The exchange was captured on video and shared widely on social media.
Jaitley & Reddy remembered
New Delhi on Tuesday had two condolence meetings, one for former finance minister Arun Jaitley and the other to remember former union minister and senior Congress leader Jaipal Reddy. The one on Jaitley was held at the Talkatora Stadium, while that for Reddy at the Ambedkar International Centre. The two politicians passed away in August. The meeting for Jaitley was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah and other BJP leaders. The one for Reddy had leaders from across the political spectrum, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, CPI(M)'s Sitaram Yechury, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Communist Party of India chief D Raja, and former union minister Sharad Yadav. A close friend of Reddy and colleague of Jaitley, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, attended both.