Delhi Confidential: Play it safe

Despite the expected victory of its candidate Draupadi Murmu in Monday’s presidential election, the ruling BJP ordered all its MPs to be present in the national capital on Saturday itself. The leaders of the party said that they do not want to take chances as some unexpected obstacles may come up at the last moment. MPs met on Saturday evening and had a training session for them on how to vote. However, the MPs in the opposition Congress camp did not receive any instructions or directions from the party leadership regarding the presidential election. While there has been no communication from the central leadership to party MPs regarding the presidential election, Congress MPs in Kerala have received a letter from state BJP president K Surendran seeking their support for Murmu.

‘Chairman Emeritus’

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu was pleasantly surprised on Sunday when senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh suggested that the government should create the post of ‘Chairman Emeritus’ in recognition of his contribution to the Upper House. Ramesh’s suggestion came at a meeting of Rajya Sabha floor leaders called by Naidu, who retires as vice president next month. It was an emotional meeting with many opposition leaders praising Naidu, with whom they often had arguments and disagreements on various issues. Ramesh, in fact, said that Naidu was sometimes angry and irritated with opposition leaders but was a good person at heart and will be missed.

Kerala trip

Soon after the end of the monsoon session of Parliament, officials in the environment ministry have something to look forward to – the next meeting of the National Tiger Conservation Authority, this time in Kerala. The last NTCA meeting held earlier this year was conducted in Arunachal Pradesh – the first NTCA meeting outside New Delhi. This is the mandate of Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, who has decided to move policy-making outside the national capital. Yadav, who is also the labor minister, has initiated various central-level meetings in states – often interacting with local people – to address issues on the ground. Yadav also increased the frequency of meetings of various committees and bodies.

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