Whose cycle is it?
You can't accuse him of putting his foot in his mouth very often, but when he does, road transport minister Nitin Gadkari knows how to wriggle out of the situation with panache. At an event in New Delhi, he spoke at length about the virtues of the humble cycle — and of cycling — and cited the example of his junior minister, Mansukh Laxmanbhai Mandaviya, who rides his cycle to work regularly. When a guest asked if the minister was thinking of switching loyalty — the bicycle is the election symbol of regional rival Samajwadi Party — he insisted that the “cycle” was always “dear” to him. The SP meanwhile is said to be exploring an alliance with other “like-minded” regional parties to challenge the National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre in the next Lok Sabha election.
True or false?
Independent Rajya Sabha member Ritabrata Banerjee on Tuesday asked the finance ministry whether Vijaya Bank had put up advertising posters that said, “Hindi meinkaamkijiye, deshbhakti ka parichaydijiye (do your work in Hindi and show your patriotism)”. Banerjee asked if people speaking English or non-Hindi customers were any less patriotic. Minister of state for finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said, according to information provided by Vijaya Bank, it had not put up such a poster. To bolster his point, Banerjee then tweeted a visual of the poster and alleged the government was “denying the truth in Parliament”.
The choice is clear
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu met a host of Opposition leaders in New Delhi on Tuesday. Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has parted ways with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) so he ignored the top BJP leadership during the visit. He, however, met senior BJP member Murli Manohar Joshi and the out-of-favour Kirti Azad. It is no secret that Joshi, who is part of his party’s margdarshakmandalor mentors’ group, is hardly ever sought out by the party brass for advice. Naidu also met leaders of allies such as the Shiromani Akali Dal’s Harsimrat Kaur, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and several other Opposition leaders in his bid to garner support for the no-confidence motion that the TDP has moved against the Narendra Modi government.