With the elections to 18 Rajya Sabha seats on June 19, speculation is again rife that Jyotiraditya Scindia
(pictured), who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after quitting the Congress in March, could soon be inducted into the Union Cabinet after his election to the Upper House. Scindia’s exit from the Congress brought about the fall of the Madhya Pradesh government, led by Kamal Nath, and the BJP later named him one of its candidates for the Rajya Sabha polls from the state. The Election Commission had earlier deferred the polls because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Elections will be held to four seats each in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, three each in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, two in Jharkhand, and one each in Manipur and Meghalaya. While Scindia is the BJP’s candidate in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress is sure to win one of the three seats, for which it has fielded senior leader Digvijaya Singh. In Jharkhand, former chief minister Shibu Soren is the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-Congress candidate.
Longer liquor hours
Unlock 1.0 has not only opened the gates for a gamut of industrial and commercial activities to resume, it has also given drinkers in Uttar Pradesh a reason to feel happy about. Last month, the state excise department had allowed liquor shops to open between 10 am and 7 pm in the state, while conforming to social-distancing norms. With the state government now allowing commercial activities to continue till 9 pm, liquor shop owners had urged the government to extend the timing for them as well, since maximum sales took place between 7 pm and 10 pm. Acceding to their demand, the department has notified fresh timings for liquor and wine shops — from 10 am to 9 pm. Excise revenue contributes more than Rs 30,000 crore to the state exchequer annually.