The newly formed 16th Lok Sabha started its proceedings today. What should have been a joyous moment especially for the treasury benches turned out to be a somber occasion as there was shadow of gloom from the unexpected demise of Union Minister Gopinath Munde.
Munde’s last rites performed:
Gopinath Munde’s last rites were performed today in his home constituency of Beed. In a symbolic gesture Munde’s daughter Pankaja lit up the funeral pyre, which is a break from convention. It is largely expected Pankaja who is a MLA herself will take over the mantle of her late father’s political legacy. Top leaders from BJP both state and centre was present to pay their last respect to the son of Marathwada. Also present was Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chauhan.
Emotional crowd turned hostile when they couldn’t venture close to the departed leader. Shiv Sena Chief Udhav Thakre today demanded for a CBI probe into this whole matter. As of now Nitin Gadkari will look after ministries of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation – i.e. the portfolios which were held by late Union Minister Gopinath Munde.
First day of Lok Sabha:
Lok Sabha formally commenced today although the oath taking ceremony will be held tomorrow. Before entering the house Modi said that they will try their best to live up to the expectation of common people. Only Kamal Nath took oath today and will perform the duty of pro-tem speaker till a speaker is elected. As of now veteran BJP leader Sumitra Mahajan seems to be the frontrunner to become the next speaker of Lok Sabha.
After intense bickering during polls the vibes inside the house today was friendly and amiable with people greeting and hugging each other. For some it was like going back to the old routine while for many including PM Modi it was a completely new experience. It is unlikely that this spirit of bonhomie will last long.
Today’s seating of MP’s starkly depicted the changed political scenario of the country. The grand old party reduced to 44, their de facto PM candidate Rahul Gandhi seating in the 9th row in the Opposition benches!!
Congress however believes that there is a larger role for Rahul Gandhi outside the four walls of the Parliament. Both Shashi Tharoor and Kamal Nath said that the Gandhi scion will look to take up people’s issues across the country. They reaffirmed that BJP will not be given a free run in the lower house of Parliament.
Narendra Modi has decided to visit USA in September for bilateral talks with President Obama. This piece of news breaking late in the night is likely to be the major talking point for days to come. Many believed that Modi may send cold vibes to USA after being snubbed by them for nearly a decade. But PM has again proved the pundits wrong with one sweeping stroke of foreign policy. Modi may also take part in the UN General Assembly slated to be held in NewYork in the same month.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh is all set to visit India- China border to get a firsthand perspective of the situation. China has always been one of the top priorities in NDA’s foreign policy and this visit is meant to send a message to them. But Para military officials are unsure whether Rajnath can go to the China border in Arunachal known for its extremely hostile terrain.
There are suggestions that Modi sarkar is likely to actively encourage civilians to live in the Arunachal border. Infrastructure will be built by construction of better roads so that commoners can live easily. This according to government sources will somewhat neutralize the possibility of incursion by Chinese forces which became a norm in the UPA regime.
Now security sources have concluded that the attack on Indian consulate on Herat, Afghanistan was indeed the handiwork of LeT. Their plan was to take hostage and lay siege on the building akin to the Mumbai attack on 26/11. The plan was to completely destabilize the diplomatic spectacle which Modi sarkar had pulled off by inviting all the SAARC heads to his swearing in. Thankfully due to alacrity of the security forces, LeT failed in its evil ploys.
Modi today met the secretaries and top officials of different ministries. In a marathon meeting with 77 officials spanning over two and half hours Modi clearly outlined his policy priorities. Reportedly Modi said that bureaucrats should try to look for out of box solution to speed up the delivery mechanism. Alluding to the red tape in government work, PM asked the officials to identify the archaic rules which are creating confusion. Modi has promised to be accessible to bureaucrats. It is very clear that the entire thrust of Modi government is to be projected as people friendly. Meeting and freewheeling talks of this kind happened after long 8 years. It is left to be seen how far Modi sarkar will be able to deliver on the promise of swift governance especially with a bureaucracy prone to be lethargic.
In other news, Apex Court advocate Ranjit Kumar is slated to be nominated the as the next Solicitor General of India. Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) approved Kumar’s name today.
If Modi delivers according to his promise, Sensex can touch the 1, 00,000 figure by the year 2020!! The figure may sound bizarre now but according to top brokerage and rating agencies an unprecedented rally in the share market is a distinct possibility. They claim that if Modi sarkar can indeed fuel the cycle of growth, remove bottlenecks and kick start the fledging manufacturing sector, share market can soon see exponential increase in value. It will be something akin to what happened in Nasdaq in the 1980’s.
From speculation about future to more mundane news of the present, Sensex was down by 52 points today after gains in two successive sessions.
UP, continuing to shame India
If Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Badaun was a signal of new found alacrity in the Congress, casual statements from SP leaders indicate that they are still stuck in a time warp. Mulayam Singh Yadav today brushed aside questions regarding rape asking reporters to mind their business. Another SP leader Ramgopal Yadav said obscenity and vulgarity shown in television has led to erosion of morality. He also sought to play down incidence of rape saying many times normal relationship between boy and girl is deemed as rape!!
Amidst all this Modi sarkar is under pressure to impose President’s rule in the state. BJP MP RK Singh today said that state government should be dismissed. It is unlikely that Modi will take such extreme decision so early in his tenure. But with both US and UN slamming India for failing to safeguard women, Indian government can’t also afford to be perceived as a mute spectator. It is certainly a challenge for Modi to exert his influence without breaching the bounds of federal structure of India.
Obesity is turning out to be a major problem for kids across the globe. Even India is not free of that menace. Now, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi is planning to ban junk food in school canteens. The aim is to sensitize kids about menace of junk food so that they can opt for healthier choices. Maneka Gandhi’s ministry is in talks with HRD ministry to implement the proposal.
Finally, a look at the key economic parameters as of today…