After the fall of the Congress-Janata Dal (Securities) government in Karnataka on Tuesday, things are moving fast in Madhya Pradesh. An exchange between Opposition leader Gopal Bhargava and Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday gave a glimpse of the manner in which things might unfold in the state. “Hamare oopar wale number 1 ya number 2 ka aadesh hua to 24 ghante bhi aapki sarkar nahi chalegi,” (if our No. 1 or No. 2 gives us a go-ahead, your government will not last a day), Bhargava said in the Assembly. The chief minister said: “Aapke oopar wale number 1 aur 2 samajhdar hain, isliye aadesh nahi de rahe hain. Aap chahen to avishwas prastaav le aayen (your No. 1 and 2 are wise, that’s why they haven't given you such orders; if you wish, bring a no-confidence motion).” Bhargava refused to give in. “In Karnataka, it was a coalition-based on greed. I believe the situation in Madhya Pradesh is much worse,” he said.
It is rare to find a union minister object to a speech of his/her own party MP in Parliament. As the Rajya Sabha discussed the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill on Wednesday, Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani (pictured), who had moved the Bill, got up to object to the speech of the BJP’s Harnath Singh Yadav. Yadav, 78, a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh pracharak, blamed television, films and social media for the increase in crimes against women and children. He said film heroines sold condoms on television and a well-known actor could be seen giving tips on wooing women in the name of selling shampoo. Yadav ignored protests by Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan and continued with his own experience with a friend who recently told him about “porn”. “I asked him what porn is. I had only heard of popcorn,” Yadav said. “You are elderly. Women are sitting here. The entire country is watching. You can express your concerns in a more dignified language,” Irani said.
Owaisi targets Cong, Trump
During a debate on the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, AIMIM's Asaduddin Owaisi riled the Congress MPs and somewhat warmed the hearts of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members. "I blame the Congress party for bringing this law. They are the main culprits," Owaisi said. Adding that he has been a victim of the law, Owaisi said, the Congress would realise what they had done only if their top leaders spent some time in prison. This led to protests by the Congress MPs, who demanded the remarks be expunged. As Home Minister Amit Shah watched, BJP MPs objected to any expunging of the remarks. With controversy over US President Donald Trump's comments on Kashmir still fresh, the BJP MPs were all smiles when Owaisi compared the American president with a Disney cartoon character. The remarks had not been expunged till Wednesday evening.