Amid the high-voltage drama in Karnataka, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has instructed its MLAs in Madhya Pradesh to ensure 100 per cent attendance in the state assembly during the ongoing session. Senior party leaders have said if a member wants leave, he/she will have to inform in advance and furnish valid reason for absence. Former chief minister of the state and senior leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan met party MLAs recently and reportedly told them that the Congress government and its ministers are "not serious about the affairs of the state" and that "anything can happen" in the coming days.
When cricket won
There was an uproar in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday over the political crisis in Karnataka, with Congress members storming the well of the House and raising slogans, leading to an adjournment of the proceedings. The Trinamool Congress and the Left parties protested the Narendra Modi government's plans of disinvesting public sector undertakings. Deputy Chairman Harivansh adjourned the House for the day within three minutes of it reconvening at 2 pm because of unabated protests. “I am convinced the Congress and Trinamool Congress disrupted the Rajya Sabha and had it adjourned for the day because they wanted to watch the cricket. No other explanation is in sight,” said nominated MP Swapan Dasgupta. Opposition members, however, said they would continue disruption on the issue of disinvestment on Wednesday also.
Room No 53
Even with their dwindling presence in Parliament since 2009, the Left parties, particularly the Communist Party of India (Marxist), have religiously raised issues of public interest. Both during the years of the UPA 2 government and the previous term of the Narendra Modi regime, the CPI(M) routinely held press conferences in room number 53 of Parliament House when Parliament was in session, to demand answers from the government of the day on social and economic issues. With CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury no longer an MP, the CPI's D Raja set to retire, and no articulate successor in sight, the Trinamool Congress's Derek O'Brien has sought to fill the breach. O'Brien held a press conference in the same room on Tuesday on electoral funding and promised a weekly press conference on a burning issue. Unlike the frugal refreshments the Left parties offered journalists, the Trinamool served fried chicken and fish.