Is Trinamool Congress working on a strategy to rope in party whole-timers?

Is the Trinamool Congress working on a strategy to rope in party whole-timers, a la Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Bharatiya Janata Party? A party meeting to be held today (July 29) at Kolkata's Nazrul Mancha has kicked off speculation that West Bengal's ruling party might be working in that direction. All MLAs, district- and block-level leaders are expected to attend the meeting. The state has 77,000 booths. Word is that Trinamool will appoint four whole-time members per booth. The target is to appoint 300,000 such members, who will not only identify and recruit new members but will also contribute to the party's social media strategy.

Naidu raps ‘moving’ members

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday pulled up members, including some ministers, who were moving about in the House after a vote was announced on the matter of referring the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill to a select committee. The Opposition complained about ministers “trying to influence MPs" during the process. “People in authority must be careful... Even individual members are not supposed to move this side or that side… If they want to talk to any member, they are at liberty to talk to them before the voting process starts and, that too, preferably outside the House,” Naidu said. The voting process on the Bill had ended in a furore after Bharatiya Janata Party member C M Ramesh was seen collecting voter slips from Telugu Desam Party MPs. Only officials are supposed to collect the slips, as per House rules.

Powerless in MP

Madhya Pradesh health minister Tulsi Silawat was left red-faced when the electricity supply tripped during his speech at the Academy of Administration in Bhopal last week. Silawat was presenting his ministry's action plan pertaining to antimicrobial resistance. As the venue plunged into darkness, officials fished out their mobile phones to turn on some light. Pictures of people switching on their mobile flashlights went viral in no time. This is the second time in a month that Silawat faced such a situation. In June, when he was discussing the problem of outages in hospitals, the electricity supply had tripped. Indeed, since the Congress government took charge of the power-surplus state in December 2018, unscheduled cuts have become the order of the day.

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