SP, BSP give a miss to virtual meeting of opposition leaders called by Cong

The SP has complained that the media does not cover the work its leadership is doing to help the poor and migrant workers, and focusing only on the Congress
From virtual to real

The Opposition demand for virtual meetings of parliamentary committees might not materialise, after all, because of security concerns. Sittings of both houses of Parliament and its committees had been suspended because of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown. It appears Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu are wary of risking sensitive information being leaked after reports of video-conference platforms being compromised started circulating. With the gradual reopening of air and rail services and inter-state travel being allowed, they feel there should be no problem in the movement of committee members. From the looks of it, meetings might be resumed from June 1.

‘Power’ and politics

“If you want a rebate on your electricity bill, remove the Bharatiya Janata Party  and bring back the Congress.” A farmer in Madhya Pradesh got this reply via the official portal of the state electricity department after he complained about excessive billing. The incident took place in Agar Malwa district of the state, where by-election is scheduled later this year. The farmer, Harish Jadav, received a bill of Rs 30,000 against his domestic consumption. A few days after lodging his complaint on the official portal, he tried checking on its status and was shocked to see the response, which also said that if he helped bring the Congress back to power, he would receive a monthly bill of Rs 100 only. The department later said many employees of the firm had the password to the complaint section, and anyone could have logged on and posted the comment. An enquiry is on to identify who did it.

SP-BSP no show 

Two of Uttar Pradesh’s big political parties, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), were invited for the videoconference of opposition leaders on Friday, but neither attended. The Congress had called the opposition leaders’ meeting, attended by 22 parties, but the absence of the SP and BSP is being interpreted as their nervousness at the campaign by Congress General Secretary (for UP) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. The SP has complained that the media does not cover the work its leadership is doing to help the poor and migrant workers, and focusing only on the Congress. The BSP has gone a step further and in a statement, party chief Mayawati on Saturday said the Congress ruled the country for most of the years after independence but failed to provide jobs to people near their home, which forced them to migrate. The Congress leadership, on its part, is enthused at what it calls Mayawati’s frustration at the rising graph of the Congress among the poor, particularly the Dalits.



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