A day after two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators supported the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh on a Bill, self-styled godman Namdev Tyagi alias Computer Baba said on Thursday that four more BJP MLAs wanted to support it. The government has a slim majority, with the support of the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party at that. Computer Baba, who has been appointed chairman of a river trust by the government, had been given minister of state rank by the previous government, run by the BJP. “Four BJP MLAs are in contact with me. I will present them before you (media) when Kamal Nath (chief minister) asks me to do so,” he said in Indore. He did not say who the four were. BJP legislators Narayan Tripathi and Sharad Kol voted for the Criminal Law (Madhya Pradesh Amendment) Bill, 2019, when it was placed in the Assembly. Large defections from the Congress brought down the Karnataka government this week.
Statue of ‘disunity’?
The Trinamool Congress has stolen a march over the Congress. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, a constituent of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, has invited Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee (pictured) to unveil a statue of the late DMK leader and former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi. The statue will be unveiled at the office of the party organ Murasoli on the occasion of Karunanidhi’s first death anniversary on August 7. Current DMK chief M K Stalin will preside over the occasion. National Conference President Farooq Abdullah and Congress leader and Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy will be present. The Trinamool is not part of the UPA, and with the Congress in turmoil, Banerjee is being seen as the most strident voice in the Opposition. Both West Bengal and Tamil Nadu have Assembly polls in the first half of 2021.
Trinamool vs Trinamool
During the debate on the Right to Information Amendment Bill, the Trinamool Congress's Rajya Sabha leader, Derek O'Brien, was the lead speaker in his party. It so happened that when O'Brien got up to speak, his party colleague and Rajya Sabha member Sukhendu Sekhar Roy was chairing the proceedings of the House. Roy is a member of the six-member panel of vice-chairmen of the Rajya Sabha, and one of them presides over the House in the absence of the chairman and deputy chairman. When O'Brien began to speak on how the government was eroding the authority of Parliament, Roy advised him — more than once — to speak on the issue at hand. As O'Brien continued with what the 70-year-old felt were irrelevant issues, he told O'Brien (58) that his speech was not a 'zero hour' mention. O'Brien took the comment in his stride, saying that Roy always played "fair".