Remember it like Singh
NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar shared an anecdote that spoke of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s extraordinary memory, while sharing the dais with him at an event to celebrate 25 years of the National Stock Exchange. Apparently, just before the ceremony kicked off, the two were having a conversation backstage when Singh asked Kumar, “Were you not part of the 1991-92 team that put together the blueprint of the NSE?” “That is how sharp his memory is,” said Kumar, who was economic advisor in the department of economic affairs between 1992 and 1995.
A delegation of Opposition leaders on Thursday afternoon submitted a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind (pictured) on the issue of Assam’s National Register of Citizens. While members of 12 political parties had signed the memorandum and more than one MP from each party wished to be part of the team that submitted it, only 11 could meet Kovind. Opposition leaders had been told that in accordance with the rules, a delegation to meet the President should comprise 11 members or less, but remembered how twice as many of them could visit him not too long ago. The President gave 30 minutes to the group and listened patiently to what they had to say.
Many spoke while being seated, but former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader H D Deve Gowda, the senior most in the group, stood up to speak and said he preferred to stand while speaking — at a public meeting or in Parliament — but also when addressing the President.
Sun versus moon
After the election of the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman yesterday, members of the House delivered short speeches to felicitate Harivansh Narayan Singh. During the monsoon session of Parliament, and with the post of deputy chairman vacant, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu had to lead the House proceedings for the entire day, when the practice is that the chairman looked after the proceedings in the morning while the deputy chairman the post-lunch session. Naidu, as members pointed out, had also come to acquire the image of a “strict headmaster”. More than one member hoped, tongue firmly in cheek, that Singh's arrival would give respite to Naidu. The Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut was more forthright; he said Naidu was akin to the blazing sun and that he hoped Singh would conduct the House proceedings like a mellow moon.