So near yet so far: Journalists miss PM's Ladakh visit due to quarantine

Big alliance gets bigger

The Left parties, which weren’t part of the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar despite having an understanding with the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal in the last Lok Sabha polls, are set to join the alliance ahead of the Assembly polls. The decision was taken during the recent virtual meeting of the coalition partners of the Bihar Mahagathbandhan, which was attended by representatives of the Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, and Hindusthan Awam Morcha. The agenda was to accommodate “secular parties” with the aim of defeating the BJP-JD(U) alliance and not repeat the mistake committed in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, when the parties contested separately. An official announcement on the inclusion of the Left in the alliance is expected in weeks.

Ungentlemanly game

So what if the bosses at Star India think the market is not ready to support the Indian Premier League’s 2020 edition! A bunch of guys from Delhi organised a cricket tournament in neighbouring Greater Noida last weekend and more than 50 people gathered to watch the matches. As luck would have it, local police got wind of the event and swooped down on the players and their spectators. Fifty-one people were booked for holding the event in violation of the administration’s Covid-19 guidelines. Challans were issued to the owners of 17 cars that were used by the participants in the tournament. Gautam Buddh Nagar has so far recorded 2,569 Covid-19 cases and 23 deaths, according to official figures released till Friday.

So near yet so far

The Covid crisis meant journalists who were flown to Leh from Delhi last week missed all the action despite being so close to it. This was an unusual experience for a tribe that rushes to cover events at the shortest of notices. These journalists were quarantined in the hotels where they had checked in. While those who reached earlier could still manage to cover the prime minister’s visit to Ladakh, last week’s batch was clearly told by the hotel staff that they would not be allowed to leave due to the Covid protocol. Besides a strict vigil by the hotel staff, some of them periodically received calls from local health officials, checking whether they were still in the hotel. The challenge for the TV crew was sending live feed from an outdoor location. So some started using the hotel terrace for their clips. Others sought solace from the fact that the isolation period gave them time to get acclimatised to the cold weather (night temperature zero degree Celsius, the maximum being 16) before they moved closer to the border areas that would test their endurance further.

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