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The road to Lok Sabha passes through Rajya Sabha for Dravidian parties

With 21 seats in the Tamil Nadu Assembly falling vacant, the chances of these promises being kept would depend on the results of the by-poll for these seats

Business Standard 

Illustration by Binay Sinha
Illustration by Binay Sinha

Lok Sabha via Rajya Sabha

The two leading Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu are using Rajya Sabha seats, which fall vacant in July, as a lever to forge alliances ahead of the Lok Sabha election. Six Rajya Sabha seats fall vacant in June and both All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam have offered one seat each to their small allies, Pattali Makkal Katchi and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. With 21 seats in the Tamil Nadu Assembly falling vacant, the chances of these promises being kept would depend on the results of the by-poll for these seats. Meanwhile, actor-cum-politician Vjayakanth's Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) delayed joining hands with one of the two possible partners presumably because there was no offer of a Rajya Sabha seat. Wednesday's talks between the leaders of the National Democratic Alliance and the DMDK remained inconclusive.

Respect for opponent

Despite heated argument between the government and petitioners during the hearing of the Rafale deal review petition in the Supreme Court, professional courtesy was not lost on the two sides involved. Former Union minister Arun Shourie, a petitioner in the case, was seen meeting and shaking hands with Attorney General KK Venugopal in the Chief Justice’s court post lunch. In the pre-lunch session, the government had threatened the petitioners citing the Official Secrets Act and said the documents on which their petition was based had been stolen from the defence ministry.

Tit for tat

A viral video that caused much amusement among Opposition leaders on Wednesday showed two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders exchange blows in front of journalists following an argument. The video began with a verbal spat between BJP MP from Sant Kabir Nagar Sharad Tripathi and MLA Rakesh Singh Baghel of Mendhawal constituency, during a district coordination meeting in Sant Kabir Nagar, Uttar Pradesh. First Tripathi was seen asking why his name didn't appear on the foundation stone for a local road. Baghel responded that he had taken the decision to omit Tripathi's name. Soon, an agitated Tripathi was seen taking off a shoe and beating up Baghel. The latter responded by slapping Tripathi. The police and other leaders present in the room intervened to stop an escalation.

First Published: Thu, March 07 2019. 02:04 IST
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