The oath taking ceremony of new Lok Sabha members turned into a spectacle on Tuesday. If Bharatiya Janata Party members raised slogans of Jai Sri Ram and Bharat Mata ki Jai either at the start or the end of their oaths, some from the Bahujan Samaj Party ended their oaths with Jai Bhim and Jai Samajwad. The Lok Sabha saw a verbal duel between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress MPs from West Bengal. After several BJP MPs concluded their oaths with Jai Sri Ram, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MPs raised the slogan Jai Bengal, Jai Maa Durga, Jai Hind and even Mamata Banerjee zindabad. Kalyan Banerjee of the TMC recited the Durga Path after concluding his oath while his party colleague Abu Taher Khan began his oath with Bismillah, ar-Rahman, ar-Rahim and ended with Allahu Akbar. After BJP members chanted Jai Sri Ram when Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee's name was called for oath, he said even Modiji was not so popular in the House.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was benevolence personified during the protracted meeting that ended the government-doctor stalemate in the state on Tuesday. Even before the meeting started, Banerjee held out an olive branch for the doctors by sending out word that she had agreed to their rather brash demand for live broadcast of the meeting. As the meeting got underway the doctors clapped when “Didi” promised stern action if their security was compromised and finally gave in when she asked them to make a “mishti kore (sweet)” promise to withdraw the strike. The formal withdrawal of the strike came about three hours after the meeting ended at 5.40pm.
Slipping on water
The ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu had its foot-in-the-mouth moment earlier this week when SP Velumani, Minister for Municipal Administration, Rural Development and Implementation of Special Programme, rubbished news reports on the water shortage in the state saying they were "manufactured". That statement came even as the state government announced it would set up a monitoring committee to look into the water supply related issue. Velumani later backtracked and said he had chaired a review meeting with senior government officials to determine the steps needed to address the water crisis in the state.