Virtual House meets
When the rest of the country can carry on with their work and meetings using technology during the Covid-19 lockdown, why can’t India’s members of Parliament? On Thursday, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, who is also chairman of the Rajya Sabha, held a meeting at his residence with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla regarding this. The two discussed the feasibility of holding meetings of parliamentary committees during the lockdown. Naidu and Birla agreed that the committees should resume their meetings at the earliest, and alternative means of doing so must be explored if the situation did not allow that. They asked the secretaries general of both the Houses to examine the pros and cons of holding meetings by video conferencing, study the practices and experiences of various countries, and the time needed to enable secure technology platforms.
Two police personnel in Madhya Pradesh were suspended on Thursday on charges of pilferage of liquor bottles. Close to 1,000 bottles of country liquor kept in the strong room of a police station in Bhind, following seizure, went missing amid the lockdown, prompting authorities to order a probe. The superintendent of police claimed 3,400 country liquor bottles had been seized by the district police in the last four years. Of these, 2,200 were deposited in the local court's strong room and the remaining 1,200 at the police station. But during a visit to the said police station recently, he found only 250 bottles. Upon asking around, he found that tipplers had bought these bottles paying four times the regular price during the lockdown when liquor shops across the state were closed.
Singhvi clears the air
Noted Supreme Court lawyer and Rajya Sabha MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi (pictured), a Congressman, on Thursday purportedly reacted to rumours that he could soon be joining the Bharatiya Janata Party. “Gossip is the devil’s radio. So don't be his DJ,” Singhvi tweeted. He also tweeted in Hindi, “Afvaah thi ki main beemar hoon, logon ne pooch pooch kar beemar kar diya,” alluding to several phone calls and messages he had received in the past couple of days, asking him about the rumour. He also seemed to take a jibe at unnamed people. “Hamari afvaah ke dhuen wahin se uthte hain jahan hamare naam se aag lag jaati hai (the fumes are coming out of the place which is on fire),” Singhvi tweeted.