Self-styled godman Namdeo Das Tyagi, popularly known as Computer Baba, has hit the headlines once again. The Madhya Pradesh government has appointed him chairman of the Narmada River Trust. Just after his appointment, Tyagi asked for a chopper. The reason? “He will have to supervise the work being done on the Narmada.” The state government was taken aback and refused to accede to his request. Now, Tyagi has asked for a room in the secretariat and a drone camera for keeping an eye on illegal sand mining in the Narmada and other rivers. This time his argument is that he needs modern ashtra-shastra (weaponry) to save the rivers.
Taking voter soundings
With bitterness between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC), especially between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, being very great, a move by the TMC may further stoke the fire. It is learnt that some prominent traffic crossings and public places in Kolkata have started broadcasting Banerjee’s speeches in which she is critical of Modi. Such screens have been placed near the Dakshineswar, Sonagachi and Hazra crossings, areas in which a significant proportion of the lower income group, the traditional voter base of the party, resides. It is being done to gauge the erosion the BJP has caused in the TMC's vote bank in these areas. Sources suggest it could be the idea of an analyst Banerjee met recently.
If a member of Parliament dies, it is customary for the House which she or he was a member of to read an obituary reference to her or him and adjourn for the day. There have been exceptions to this and so was it on Tuesday. After the Bharatiya Janata Party's Rajya Sabha MP Madan Lal Saini passed away in New Delhi on Monday, it was thought the RS could adjourn for the day on Tuesday after the obituary reference to him. However, at a meeting of party leaders of the RS on Tuesday morning, Opposition leaders were informed that the RS would adjourn until 2 pm and then continue with its discussion on the motion of thanks on the President's address. It was argued that Saini had passed away in Delhi and therefore members could pay their respects to him by lunch time. Adjournment of an entire day would have delayed the PM's departure to Osaka in Japan to attend the G20 Summit. With the RS taking up the discussion after 2 pm on Tuesday, it has paved the way for the PM to reply in the Upper House on Wednesday afternoon. He replied to the motion in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday evening.