Rai’s political debut
Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad’s daughter-in-law, Tej Pratap Yadav’s wife Aishwarya Rai, has made her debut of sorts in politics. Her photographs could be seen prominently in posters the party had put up across Patna for its 22nd foundation day, which was celebrated on Thursday. The posters also feature senior leaders of the party, such as, former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, former Bihar finance minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui and state unit president Ram Chandra Purbey. Rai's face could be seen photoshopped between that of Misa Bharti, the eldest daughter of Lalu, and Rabri Devi, former CM and Tej Pratap's mother. Her presence in the posters is significant given that her husband has appeared increasingly miffed by the politics in the party, and also because Rai does not have a formal party post.
No to brickbats
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to South Africa to attend the BRICS Summit to be held from July 25 to 27. He will also visit Rwanda and Uganda. While he would likely spend three-four hours in Rwanda, in Uganda he is slated to address a gathering of the Indian diaspora. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, there are over 26,000 Indians and People of Indian Origin, or PIOs, living in Uganda, of whom a majority are Indian passport holders. They are a influential business community and contribute 60 per cent of Uganda's direct taxes. The community predominantly comprises Gujaratis and Telugus, with the PM hoping to reach out to the Telugus as the Bharatiya Janata Party tries to woo their Indian relatives in the run up to assembly polls in Andhra Pradesh and the Lok Sabha elections in 2019. But an unseemly fight has broken out between the two communities, with each hoping to make arrangements relating to the venue and raising of funds. The office of the High Commissioner of India and that of the Overseas Friends of BJP are currently trying to effect a truce.
A senior leader of the Congress party from western India says he has stopped using the elevator when in Delhi or staying at his home state’s bhawan in the city. The leader has also stopped using the elevator at his apartment complex where he lives in the capital of his home state. He says he fears his political rivals could embroil him in a molestation case if he were to travel alone in an elevator. At the state bhawan in Delhi, he now takes the stairs to his third floor room, which has had the added benefit of getting him much-needed exercise.