Where is Opposition unity? In politics, equations can change quickly

Kapil Sibal
In politics, equations can change quickly. Last week, as many as 16 opposition parties submitted a notice to Rajya Sabha Chariman M Venkaiah Naidu demanding a short duration discussion on media freedom. Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and Bharatiya Janata Party MP Subramanian Swamy were among the signatories. On Monday, senior television journalist Barkha Dutt accused Congress MP Kapil Sibal and his wife on Twitter of threatening to sack 200 employees of a television channel they promote. Opposition sources said they were preparing for a fiery debate with several from the treasury benches likely to attack the MP on the issue. Members of other opposition parties said they were happy that they would get a ringside view of the battle. No Opposition unity here!

How happy are you?

The Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh is going to evaluate its performance through a “happiness” index survey. The state government has asked the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kharagpur to prepare a questionnaire which, apart from happiness-related questions, will seek people’s opinion about governance- and administration-related issues. The whole process will be conducted by the happiness department (established by the previous Shivraj Singh Chouhan government) from September 2019 to March 2020. The government will decide its future strategies and programmes based on the findings of the survey.

Will Neeraj switch sides?

Samajwadi Party Rajya Sabha member Neeraj Shekhar resigned from the membership of the House on Monday. Shekhar met Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to explain his decision and handed him the letter, which was accepted. Shekhar, 50, is the son of former prime minister Chandra Shekhar. A two-time Lok Sabha MP from the Ballia Lok Sabha constituency that was once represented by his father, Shekhar was elected to the Rajya Sabha in November 2014, with his six-year term ending on November 25, 2020. While Shekhar did not answer his phone, sources said he quit a year before his term was to end as he was likely to join the Bharatiya Janata Party and hoped to get re-elected to the House from that party. Shekhar had been denied a Lok Sabha ticket from Ballia in the just concluded elections.

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