A cautious note
On Monday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tried to build an anti-Congress narrative on the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of the imposition of Emergency. On Tuesday, the Congress hit back. It accused the Modi government of trying to deflect attention from its failures by raking up something that took place 43 years back. Congress had to walk a tightrope in its criticism. It not only asked its supporters to not extol the virtues of Emergency, but was also careful not to criticise several of its current and potential allies. It slammed the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the earlier avatar of the BJP, for its opposition to Indira Gandhi government's pro-poor policies. But spared in its criticism the socialists — Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) — all of whom had fought against the Emergency between 1975 and 77.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday called Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad to enquire about his health. The phone call led to speculation that Kumar might be planning to part ways with the Bharatiya Janata Party. However, Tejashwi Yadav termed it a “late courtesy call” by Kumar to enquire about his father’s health who underwent a fistula operation on Sunday. Yadav said doors were shut for Kumar’s return to the ‘grand alliance’ in Bihar. The 'grand alliance' also includes the Congress, which is amenable to Kumar’s return. The party believes it can convince Kumar to move to the Centre, and leave state politics to Yadav.
Justice Jasti Chelameswar made waves in the days before his retirement last week giving media interviews, attracting the ire of the Bar Council of India and sections of the legal profession. In his busy schedule, he missed writing at least one important judgment argued three years ago by star lawyers and involving the Electricity Regulatory Commission, NTPC, Damodar Valley Corporation and several other power giants. The complex case has to be heard all over again. Justice R K Agrawal, who sat with Chelameswar in the case, left quietly and went on to preside over the National Consumer Commission. Neither left a parting note.