On the first day of the 17th Lok Sabha, Members of Parliament turned up in their state or community's traditional attires, shawls and headgears, while a section wore saffron. Bihar MPs Gopal Jee Thakur and Ashok Kumar Yadav came in traditional Maithili attire and headgear, while most of the Assam MPs donned traditional Assamese 'gamocha'. YSR Congress MPs from Andhra Pradesh had their 'Angavastram' dotted with picture of party chief and Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy. Arunachal Pradesh MP Tapir Gao wore the traditional blue Arunachali jacket. Secretary General of Lok Sabha Snehlata Shrivastava by mistake called Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to take oath and soon rectified it as the latter is a Rajya Sabha Member.
Bickering over sport
Kerala seems to be moving towards a legal framework to make Kaalayottam (bull race), Kaalavayal (bullock cart race) and Maramadi (cattle race) legal. A private Bill has been tabled in the state Assembly by MLA Anup Jacob that claims these are an integral part of the state's agrarian culture and do not involve cruelty against animals. Reports suggest that the government is keen on the Bill being passed without a hassle. The government's alacrity is understandable, given the furore surrounding Jallikattu in neighbouring Tamil Nadu, where the sport was approved through an Act by the state Legislative Assembly.
If this Bill is passed, it would undo a Kerala High Court order in 2015 which said that the Centre's notification prohibiting the use of bulls as "performing animals" is applicable to sports like Maramadi.
No samadhi for Vairagyanand
A priest in Bhopal was just going to take ‘samadhi’ (a state of deep meditation) on Sunday when the police moved in to thwart his plan. Vairagyanand Giri had predicted that in the Bhopal Lok Sabha elections, the victory of Congress leader Digvijaya Singh was just a formality. He had also said if, on the outside chance, Singh lost he would take 'samadhi'. After Singh conceded defeat to Sadhvi Pragya Thakur of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Vairagyanand Giri was untraceable for a while. At some point, he wrote to Bhopal Collector Tarun Kumar Pithode requesting him to allow him to fulfil his promise. Pithode rejected the request and asked the police to ensure nothing untoward took place. In a statement Vairagyanand later said, "The yagna has failed. I respect the mandate of the people."