Let’s focus on Union Budget
Who cares if Bihar is lost because of some strange comments from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which was picked up and circulated by BJP bigwigs. The right-wing party is now busy holding meetings with senior BJP leaders for the forthcoming union budget, focussing on one central issue: rights for the poor. In short, it means more and more taxes of all kinds to be pushed in the files of the Finance Minister, all of them what RSS considers “luxury” and India’s burgeoning middle class considers “routine”. The RSS is clear that the government at Centre must not ignore the rights of the poor because that segment matters the most when it comes to the ballot (evident in some recent elections, including the one in the Indian Capital).
More troubles for Dr Roy
When it was first reported, NDTV slapped huge legal notices on a weekly that said India's most venerated channel had flouted foreign exchange regulations. The case was put on the back burner and many almost considered it “lost”. But now, NDTV has been slapped with a R2,000 crore plus notice for FEMA violations and the Dr Prannoy Roy-led NDTV has expressed and sought time to reply. The channel has told the Bombay Stock Exchange that a FEMA notice — the Finance Ministry calls it a water tight case — is not legally tenable. But the case could open up other instances of dubious finances in news channels.
Don’t take my soccer away
Tainted Trinamool minister Madan Mitra, who resigned last week as the state’s sports minister, is back in Alipore jail as an undertrial. Jail officers have found him weak and “extremely serious”. Mitra, jail officers have told his lawyer, has just one demand. He needs a television set in the cell because he cannot stay away from sports. And, more importantly, he wants to watch crucial EPL, La Liga and ISL matches alone. Earlier, he watched the matches with other undertrials but was tired of routine taunts and insults from other undertrials. This time, Mitra’s wish has been granted and a television placed in his cell.
Pushing its own candidate is routine for any government at the Centre but the fight over nominating the chairman of PTI is becoming interesting, ostensibly because among the candidates is one former spokesperson of the UPA regime. Is it bizarre or is it that the government has, wary of criticism in the media, decided to play safe?