Close-fisted MP Budget likely
As the Madhya Pradesh government, run by the BJP, gears up to present its Budget during the monsoon session of the Assembly, which starts on July 20, departments have started preparing their wish lists. According to sources, following last year’s Budget and given the raging pandemic, no new schemes will be announced. But the recently relaunched Sambal Yojana for unorganised workers is expected to get a boost. The state government recently constituted a commission for migrant workers. A major part of Budget allocation is expected to go to health care.
Opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh are finding novel ways to protest the successive hikes in petrol prices. While riding a bicycle is a common way of doing so these days across the country — Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party President Om Prakash Rajbhar, an MLA, rode a bicycle around Lucknow recently — many leaders are innovating the mode of stir. UP Congress Legislative Party Leader Aradhana Mishra Mona (pictured) on Monday took a bullock cart near the Assembly to highlight the issue. To her annoyance, she was stopped midway by the Lucknow Police. The bullock cart was seized, and later released. This was in sharp contrast to an episode last week when Samajwadi Party workers were allegedly lathicharged by the police in the city for carrying out protests against the fuel price hike.
Better safe than sorry
When Bihar goes to the polls in October-November, it will be the first state to hold Assembly elections amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The Election Commission is working on measures to ensure that the voters and polling staff are safe. Some innovative proposals the state is working on include offering bamboo sticks to the voters so that they can press the button of their choice on the electronic voting machine without touching it. There are proposals to use disposable syringes to put indelible ink on the fingers of the voters, and setting up glass shields at the table of the polling officers so that when the time to identify voters comes and they have to take off their masks, the electors do not come into contact with the polling booth staff.