The Congress’ woes at forging alliances are unending. Just when it seemed it would strike an amicable pre-poll alliance in Karnataka with the Janata Dal (Secular) [JD (S)], the talks ran into fresh trouble. The Congress was agreeable to following the 'one third-two third' formula to give JD (S) nine seats, while it contested 19 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state. But fresh fight erupted over the choice of seats. With Congress leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah leading the way, the Congress was unwilling to part with the Mysuru and Tumkur seats. The JD (S) argued that it currently held four Assembly constituencies of the Tumkur seat while the Congress holds only one. Similarly, the JD (S) claimed Mysuru for itself, it being the traditional seat of the H D Deve Gowda family, while the Congress was the runner-up in the seat, won by the BJP in 2014.
Batting for Hindi
The Centre for Cultural Training and Research, which operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture, has announced cash prizes for employees who use Hindi at work. According to an official note circulated by the director in charge, employees who have done at least five notings per day or 300 notings and/or official letters per quarter are eligible to send their entries. The note also said increasing the use of Hindi while carrying out their official duties would fetch employees brownie points in their annual performance reviews. Each entry will have to be attested by a senior official. The notice, however, does not mention how the entries will be scrutinised to create a shortlist and eventually pick the winners.
It is not even 24 hours since the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the polling dates for the Lok Sabha elections and the bypolls in Tamil Nadu, but petitions have started flooding the Madras High Court, challenging the various announcements. One petitioner alleged that despite the Code of Conduct coming into effect on Sunday evening, advertisements were being relayed over FM channels in which the achievements of the Central government were being touted as achievements of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Another petition sought the transfer of Tamil Nadu Director General of Police T K Rajendran before the state goes to the polls. A third petition sought a change in the date of election in the Madurai constituency (April 18) because it clashed with the Chittirai festival. In another petition, Dravida Munnetra Kazagam leader Saravanan from Madurai urged the Madras High Court to deliver its verdict on his petition asking why the polling date for Tirupparankundram Assembly seat had not been fixed along with the election for the other 18 seats. Saravanan alleged the ECI had deliberately postponed the bypoll.