It is difficult to predict the next move of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati. Devashish Jarariya, an upcoming Dalit leader of the party, discovered that much to his discomfiture. In a statement on Monday, BSP said it had never opened or allowed others to open or operate either Twitter or Facebook accounts under the party’s name. It said all social media accounts that claimed to be “official” Twitter and Facebook accounts of the party were unauthorised. The BSP also said that its sole spokesperson to appear on television channels was senior party leader Sudhindra Bhadoria. Jarariya had, of late, become the party’s youth face on TV, but it would seem he has fallen foul of the leadership.
Fighting on two fronts
Whether Congress party chief Rahul Gandhi succeeded in ambushing Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his hug in the Lok Sabha during the no-confidence motion debate on Friday remains a moot point with the members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). But few in the party have come out in support of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as they did for PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. In his speech, Gandhi had criticised the defence minister for not disclosing the price at which India is purchasing the Rafale fighter jets. While Sitharaman stuck to her defence that it was a top secret deal, one of her ministerial colleagues, well-versed in military matters, visited the Central Hall of Parliament, and told journalists present there that Sitharaman’s objections to making public the price of the aircraft was “preposterous”. The minister is clearly fighting a battle on two fronts.
Dressed to protest
Telugu Desam Party lawmaker Naramalli Sivaprasad was at it again on Monday. He came dressed as Annamayya, a famous poet and devotee of Lord Balaji, to Parliament. With a gold silk drape around his shoulders and an iktara, a string instrument associated with saint-poets, in one hand, he protested the Centre's refusal to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh. This wasn't the first time Sivaprasad was using his acting chops to register his disillusionment. In his earlier protests, too, he had arrived in Parliament dressed as mythological characters.