Delhi Confidential: Beyond Politics

Shatrughan Sinha, who used to sit on the treasury bench in the Lok Sabha, now sits in the opposition. But joining the Trinamool Congress and becoming its MP in a by-election does not seem to have changed his popularity or his warm relationship with BJP MPs. Last week, when he was waiting for a car at Gate No. 4, BJP MP and Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan spotted him and called him “enemy”. Sinha immediately greeted him warmly and they chatted briefly. He told reporters that Ravi Kishan should not be considered just a Bhojpuri star, adding that his reach is beyond the realm. After Sinha got into his car, media persons told the BJP MP that they could have a picture together. The Gorakhpur MP called Sinha again, whose car had moved some distance by then. But Sinha stopped the car and got out to take pictures with Ravi Kishan.

raising a point

What the Congress governments have done in the 60 years since independence is a matter of heated debate between the party and the BJP. During an interactive session with new Rajya Sabha MPs, Congress Chief Whip Jairam Ramesh said that the Congress has led other parties in doing good things and some not-so-good things. Not a good thing was the practice of nominated MPs joining the party, which he said, was started by the Congress and is now being followed by the BJP. Ramesh said a total of 143 MPs have been nominated to the Rajya Sabha since 1952, of which 28 joined the party after becoming MPs. 16 of them joined the Congress and 12 joined the BJP in the last 10 years. Ramesh said he has repeatedly requested the Rajya Sabha chairman to remove the provision allowing nominated members to join the party.

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