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‘Dadaji’ MomentUnion Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari is very public when it comes to showing his affection for his granddaughter. He shared a video from Nagpur on his social media platform where he can be seen enjoying an evening with his beloved granddaughter in front of a fountain near a flyover in Nagpur. He shared the video stating “Light moments with my granddaughter” along with #BeautifulNagpur. The fountain decoration in the video was another highlight of the post as the sign of “Vasudeva Kutumbakam”, the theme of the 2023 G20 Summit, can be seen in the video just behind the fountain.
Maken as Treasurer?Another AICC organisational reshuffle is expected to be enacted by party chief Mallikarjun Kharge soon and power corridors are abuzz with talks that senior leader and former Union minister Ajay Maken is likely to be made the next treasurer of the party. If elevated to the post, it will be a comeback of sorts for the senior leader who has been lying low for the past several months. The post was earlier held by stalwarts of Congress, including Ahmed Patel and Motilal Vora.
Jumping the Ship With BRS leader Thummala Nageswara Rao set to join the Congress formally, rumours are abuzz that many more BRS leaders are unhappy with the top leadership. Many leaders on the ground are said to be dissatisfied with Telangana Chief Minister KCR for various reasons and are hunting for options. The internal tussles have reportedly divided the cadre into two groups in Warangal and Jangaon. Some of the workers are not happy with the sitting MLAs. BRS has to rein in these elements before rival parties like the Congress gain more ground.
Sloganeering WoesThe Congress was left red-faced as rampant factionalism within the Haryana state unit came to the fore again. Protests and sloganeering against former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda were raised when an All India Congress Committee (AICC) coordinators' team visited Jind and Hisar. The central party team was on a visit to the state to check on the ground situation ahead of Lok Sabha and state assembly polls next year. Many in the party feel that internal rift will adversely affect the party's prospects in forthcoming polls.
Temple AppealWithin days of Udhayanidhi Stalin's controversial comments against Sanatan Dharma, the BJP has launched an offensive in temples. The party has installed posters and hoardings in most Hindu temples, frequented by the Tamil community across the country, condemning the comments of DMK scion. The BJP is seemingly trying hard to reach out to the community as part of its plan for southern expansion.
Betting on Youth The BJP is seemingly going to bet on the youth in the forthcoming assembly polls in Rajasthan. It is understood that this time new faces below the age of 45 will be given preferences in ticket distribution. It has also been decided that candidates from 86 seats who lost by more than 10,000 votes in the last elections will not be given tickets. In the 2018 elections, the margin of defeat of BJP on 33 seats was less than 10,000 votes.
Citizens Chandrayaan MyGov, a citizen engagement platform launched by the Centre to promote the active participation of the citizens in the country's governance and development, has launched the Chandrayaan-3 quiz contest. The platform now allows citizens to test their space knowledge and celebrate the triumphant landing of ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 on Moon. To participate in this quiz, participants will have to click on isroquiz.mygov.in which will lead them to MyGov's page. They will find details related to the contest as well as terms and conditions and the option to participate. In a digital form, the participants must enter their personal information such as country, name, mobile number, date of birth, email ID, gender, state and district to get the questions related to India's space mission.
Rural Security In an effort to improve rural security and surveillance, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to install CCTV cameras on major roads in villages as well. Under 'Operation Trinetra', an action plan has been prepared to install CCTV cameras in remote villages. More than 3.5 lakh cameras have been installed in the state so far under the project, which will now connect rural areas with mainstream development. This is part of the Yogi Adityanath government's efforts to improve law and order in the state.
Cabinet Rejig? With less than a year left for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, an expansion of the Union Cabinet is being considered imminent, again. The speculation is rife that an expansion of the Modi cabinet is on the cards ahead of the special session scheduled for the next week. Over the past few months, there have been rumours in the power corridors of an imminent rejig in the central cabinet. It is understood that the BJP hopes to accommodate newly acquired allies into the National Democratic Alliance, making it crucial to expand the council.
Rajasthan: BJP's First List of Candidates Not So Soon? Keeping in mind the forthcoming Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh assembly elections, the BJP is unlikely to announce the tickets for the Rajasthan Assembly polls soon. The party is planning to release the first list of candidates only after the completion of the Parivartan Yatra in the desert state. In fact, the party is afraid that if the ticket announcement is made soon, then the probable candidates whose tickets are cut will distance themselves from the Yatra and may also start working against the party.
Vishwas in RS?Political circles are abuzz with talks that well-known poet Kumar Vishwas may be fielded by BJP in the forthcoming bypoll for Rajya Sabha that has fallen vacant after the death of Haridwar Dubey. The party is hoping to field a Brahmin candidate from this seat. Kumar Vishwas could be the first choice of the central leadership. Last year too his name was floated as a probable MLC candidate. However, Vishwas had apparently turned down the request.
Vastu for Good LuckTelangana BJP has seemingly implemented a Vastu compliance change in its state office. Its leaders, while addressing press conferences, will be facing north-east. The leaders have been asked to stick to the new changes introduced as per Vastu to help ensure better luck for the party. Earlier, BJP leaders faced the south-west direction during media briefings.
Legacy War?After statements by senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar against late PM Narasimha Rao labelling him BJP's first prime minister, a section in the saffron unit wants to lay claim on the legacy of the senior leader. Many in the BJP feel that Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, should be conferred on Rao. The party feels that by making the “award move”, it can very well use this to its advantage politically and also create sentiments in the saffron unit's favour in southern states.
Costly OutburstIt is possible that Malkajgiri MLA Mynampally Hanumantha Rao will have to pay a heavy price for his outburst against health minister T Harish Rao. The MLA, who got the party ticket in the recently announced first list of BRS, had made adverse comments against Harish Rao and had insisted that his son, Mynampally Rohit, should have been given a ticket. Speculation is rife that the chief minister has been keeping an eye on the controversy and might take action against Hanumantha Rao for anti-party activities.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee seems to be on a roll, making one after another faux pas. She started with calling astronaut Rakesh Sharma as Rakesh Roshan, filmstar of yesteryears. If that wasn't enough, she went a step further this time, claiming former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi went to the moon. And in her latest, she said poet Kazi Nazrul Islam wrote the Mahabharata. The book was written at least 2,000 years ago while Islam was born in 1899. No wonder, most people on social media are having a field day-- one after another.
IT WarriorsThe BJP will hone the skills of its IT cell warriors in Uttar Pradesh with an eye on next year's Lok Sabha polls. Workshops will be held in 75 cities till September 15 by the party as part of 'Shankhnaad' campaign to improve its social media outreach. State-level joint workshop of the social media and IT department has been organised for the success of the campaign. Senior leaders including CM Yogi Adityanath, state president Bhupendra Singh Chaudhary, State Deputy Chief Minister Brijesh Pathak and State General Secretary (Organization) Dharampal Singh and others are expected to guide workers at the workshops.
Kejriwal's National Test The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will be facing its first litmus test ever since acquiring the status of a national party in the forthcoming Assembly polls. The party, which was till now taking baby steps towards expansion, had been targeting smaller states to emerge as a national party. However, the Arvind Kejriwal-led party wants to be a serious political contender at the national level. And the party has its eyes on next year's Lok Sabha polls where it is desperately trying to emerge as a serious opposition contender.
Unhappy Listing?Days after the declaration of BJP's first list of candidates for seats in Madhya Pradesh, the party is facing intensified dissent. There is seemingly anger over ticket distribution and several leaders have held protests demanding a review. However, the top leadership is unlikely to relent and give in to the rebels. And a message is being sent that any such indiscipline is likely to call for severe disciplinary action.
Nitish as INDIA Convenor?Leaders of the opposition INDIA alliance will gather in Mumbai this week and the most crucial decision is expected to be on the convenor of the alliance. It is understood that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is the frontrunner for the position. Interestingly, the vast experience of the senior political leader is expected to be utilised by the opposition to take on the BJP-led NDA in 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Nitish-led JDU had been part of the NDA earlier.
Hair CareFor those who are wondering about Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's white hair, it was a conscious call taken by her around 2 years ago when she decided to be herself. Some male MPs lauded her for her 'courage', while some asked how she managed to stay natural while the men didn't have the gumption to do the same.
Poll PlanningThe first meeting of the newly constituted CWC is expected to take place in September. Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge had recently announced his new organisational team. The meeting is expected to finalise strategy for the forthcoming assembly poll which are being treated as semi-final preparation for the big 2024 Lok Sabha test next year.
BJP’s Sankalp YatraBJP's Jharkhand chief Babulal Marandi's Sankalp Yatra began this week from Madhupur. Through the yatra, the saffron party will attempt to create a 'mahaul' against the Hemant Soren-led JMM government. As part of preparations for Lok Sabha elections, Marandi has been traveling to all assembly constituencies. The new BJP chief of the state hopes to revive the party ahead of the crucial general elections next year.
Congress’ Rajasthan Prep As part of its plans for the Rajasthan Assembly poll preparations, Congress has decided that 25 members of the State Election Committee will go to different districts to take feedback from party workers about the probable candidates. Meanwhile, there will be a meeting of all the block Congress committees of the state as well. The Congress is trying really hard to remove anti-incumbency and to come back to power in the state which has a history of electing between the grand old party and BJP.
Mobile BJPAhead of the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP has shifted into active mode in Delhi. The party has now fielded mobile raths (chariots) for campaigning in the national capital. These raths are embossed with the message, “Dhanyawaad Modiji”. Delhi BJP in charge Baijayant Jay Panda flagged off the party's video vans which will tour all the seven Lok Sabha constituencies of Delhi, all of them are currently held by the saffron unit. BJP's plan is to take the achievements of the Modi government among the public through these video vans and to create awareness about the Delhi Service Bill.
Bajrangbali To Baghel’s RescueChhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel announced the unveiling of Bajrangbali Akhara Protsahan Yojana. The move aims to enhance the talents of wrestlers along with the conservation and promotion of akharas. Along with this, a state-level wrestling academy will be opened in Raipur through which the talents in the sport will be groomed. Earlier, Baghel had also announced an academy to encourage traditional sports like Mallakhamb.
Gehlot’s New HQThe foundation stone-laying programme of the new state headquarters of Rajasthan Congress is likely to be done in Jaipur soon. The PCC building will be constructed on a 6,000-square yards plot. It is understood that time has been sought from Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former president Rahul Gandhi for the ceremony. Months ahead of assembly polls, the event is expected to be a show of strength for CM Ashok Gehlot.
Congress Rajasthan List Soon? With issues between Chief Minsiter Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot almost finalised, Congress may announce candidates for the Rajasthan Assembly Elections in the first week of September. The grand old party wants to have the first mover advantage and ensure that it gives enough time to its candidates to prepare for the forthcoming polls. The finalisation comes after several rounds of pre-poll surveys by the party.
BJP’s UP PushWith less than a year for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, BJP is engaged in strengthening the organisational set up in Uttar Pradesh. The party plans to strengthen the organisation at the district level and new district presidents are likely to be appointed soon. While district chiefs who are considered to be inactive will be removed. A list of these names, expected to around 35, is likely to be announced soon.
'Bantadhar' CMBJP leadership has seemingly found an innovative way to be dismissive about their opponents. At the unveiling of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan government's report card, Union home minister Amit Shah referred to one of the state CMs as 'Shreeman Bantadhar'. The repeated reference to the former Congress CM of the state was made to drive home the point that the state was reduced to a 'BIMARU Pradesh' during his rule. The BJP is trying to establish that its rule is the one that ushered the state towards development.
Shivpal StrategyWith just months to go for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, all eyes are on Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Yadav. His support is being considered crucial for victory of any Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party candidate on the Firozabad Lok Sabha constituency. He is not expected to contest from the seat in 2024. Though Shivpal – then a Progressive Socialist Party candidate -- had lost from the seat in the 2019 polls for the Lower House. This was enough to defeat the SP candidate and hand over the victory to the BJP.
Team KhargeCongress chief Mallikarjun Kharge is expected to make his first big organisational changes soon. The move comes almost 10 months after he took over the top position in the Grand Old Party. Most senior leaders are keeping their fingers crossed as they await the much-anticipated changes. The appointments are also going to indicate the level of control and the confidence that Kharge now has in his leadership of the party.
Breathless DevelopmentShankar Mahadevan sang a new version of his famous song 'Breathless'. Minister of State for Electronics & IT, and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajeev Chandrasekhar shared a video on social media platform X, formerly Twitter, stating: “Non-Stop India ka Sankalp hai, This Non-Stop India is our goal”, tagging the singer. Mahadevan can be seen and heard in the video singing the new version, along with visuals of PM Narendra Modi. The lyrics include India's growth, expansion of skill India, Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar card, Start-up India, renewable energy, Swachh Bharat Mission and other examples of PM Modi-led government's initiatives.
Akshay Kumar for 2024 Polls? With Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar settling the citizenship issue, the BJP may consider fielding him in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Akshay Kumar is being considered for contest from one of the three seats, Gurdaspur in Punjab, or from Delhi or Mumbai where the actor currently resides. By putting Kumar in the fray, the BJP hopes to appeal to millions of his fans across the country.
I-Day Musical ChairsSome musical chairs were played at the Independence Day celebration at Red Fort. A senior BJP minister was seated in front of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. He immediately got up to sit next to him but not wanting to be uncomfortable asked the Lieutenant Governor to also come and sit beside him. The minister made the CM a bit uncomfortable by asking him why AAP was aligning with a dynastic party like the Congress and whether he would concede seats to the Congress in Punjab and Delhi.
No Student Polls in RajasthanThere will be no student union elections in Rajasthan this year. The Congress doesn't want a tricky situation where the NSUI is defeated before the Assembly elections later this year. However, this has created problems as students' leaders have also opened a front against the Ashok Gehlot government. They have warned that if the government does not consider its decision, there will be a fierce agitation.
Atal Alliance On the occasion of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's death anniversary, the NDA alliance's partners were seen at his samadhi in full strength. It was Vajpayee who had been the guiding force behind the alliance, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. Interestingly, the alliance has been in power at the Centre for all but 10 years of this time. And it hopes to secure another term in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
BJP-RLD Alliance?There is a strong buzz that the alliance of BJP and RLD is likely to materialise soon. The rumours were fuelled after RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary was absent during crucial voting against the BJP in Rajya Sabha. The talk is that the issue of division of seats between the two parties has been resolved and an announcement of the alliance is expected anytime soon. If the RLD joins the NDA, it would be a much-needed boost for the saffron front in western Uttar Pradesh.
Winking WoesCongress MP Rahul Gandhi came under attack recently over his alleged flying kiss towards the treasury benches in the recently concluded monsoon session of Parliament. A BJP MP was also in the soup for his habit of repeatedly winking while speaking to people. The MP was reportedly reprimanded after he winked, not once but twice, during an interaction with scribes recently.
Novel ProtestDuring any Parliament session, MPs are known to find unique ways to bring to light issues they want to highlight. In a unique protest against rising prices, AAP MP Sushil Gupta wore a garland of tomatoes to Parliament premises. The move by the AAP MP came after rising prices of tomatoes across the country. However, Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar strongly objected to wearing a garland of tomatoes inside the House.
Space CongestionIt's not only roads in metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru that face traffic congestion. According to ISRO Chairman S Somnath, there are millions of small uncatalogued objects floating in Space that could pose a threat or cause congestion in the path of a spacecraft. ISRO has had to ensure that these obstacles, which could slow down or cause congestion for spacecraft, are cleared before the trajectory is finalised. ISRO has assessed that there are 27,000 catalogued space objects, also known as space debris, some of which are less than 10 cm in size.
Raje’s New Role?At PM Narendra Modi's meeting with Rajasthan MPs, there was a surprise attendee. Former chief minister Vasundhara Raje also participated in the meeting which was only meant for MPs from the state. This is being seen as an indication that she might be given a new responsibility ahead of the crucial assembly polls in the state and 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Interestingly, also present at the meet was Union minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.
Rahul’s ConcernWhile exiting 10 Janpath, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi got off his car to inquire about a scooter rider who got into an accident on the road outside the residence. The Wayanad MP was on his way to Parliament when he stopped his car and walked towards the scooter rider who had fallen on the road. The senior leader inquired about the condition of the vehicle driver. Once satisfied, he left for Parliament to participate in the no-confidence motion debate.
RaGa's SilenceThe Congress had not fielded Rahul Gandhi for speaking on the no-confidence motion on Tuesday. The party allowed Gaurav Gogoi to initiate the motion. The Congress apparently wants him to speak in the Lok Sabha on the second or third day of the motion. The senior leadership is trying to achieve maximum possible impact from the speech of the Wayanad MP as it will be his first in the House after the restoration of his MP-ship.
Alliance ExpansionWith 2024 Lok Sabha polls in mind, the BJP has been eyeing an expansion of NDA by wooing new allies. However, this has come at a cost as existing alliance partners too have started to demand their pound of flesh. At a meeting with BJP chief JP Nadda, Apna Dal leader and Union minister Anupriya Patel is understood to have demanded additional seats for her party in Uttar Pradesh in 2024. The party wants to increase its footprint from the existing two members in the Lower House of Parliament.
Suspended BJP MLA Raja Singh's speech in the Telangana Legislative Assembly has left everyone stunned. He said this might be his last session as even insiders want him out. He requested the CM to look after the people of his constituency. Though there were rumours that the Goshamahal MLA would be replaced, nothing concrete was known. With Raja Singh himself reiterating the same, people are wondering who the new candidate would be. Vikram Goud, son of Congress leader Mukesh Goud, is one of the main contenders for the seat.
Wedding BellsThere could be a high-profile wedding in political circles soon. The two MPs, both of who are lawyers, belong to two different parties, which are not allies, and are on opposite sides, hailing from eastern part of the country. But love has its way to bring unlikely people together. The wedding could take place next year, maybe after both of them contest in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Minister's PledgeIn an unprecedented move, Union MoS health SPS Baghel has pledged his organs to the needy after his death. He made the donation last week after he was moved by the plight of families that needed to wait for years to secure organs for their loved ones. He also hoped that his pledge would help create awareness regarding the issue.
Turning Right? The Congress seems to be taking a right turn in Madhya Pradesh. Party's senior leader and former chief minister Kamal Nath played host to Hindu religious leader Bageshwar Baba. The move is being seen as an attempt by the Grand Old Party to reach out to the majority community voters ahead of the crucial assembly polls in the state later this year. The Baba is considered to be popular amongst the masses.
Alliance Talks There is a speculation that talks between RLD and BJP hit a roadblock as the two parties haggle over a seat-sharing agreement ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. While Jayant Chaudhary is insisting on being allocated seven seats in the forthcoming general elections, the BJP is understood to have offered only two seats, Baghpat and Mathura, to RLD. The RLD is considered a strong force in the Jat dominated western Uttar Pradesh, and the BJP hopes to secure an alliance to ensure victory in the region.
Popular LeadersThere was a beeline for two leaders in Parliament cutting across party lines . TMC's Saket Gokhale who has just entered Rajya Sabha, was greeted by many opposition leaders, including from AAP, asking him how to file an RTI . Gokhale is considered to be an expert on filing RTI and the AAP wants to do some against the government on Delhi issues. Other leader who is also demand is Shashi Tharoor. Many leaders plan to write memoirs and they want a Big Bang release. They feel Tharoor releasing it would help them gain traction. Tharoor joked about the popularity, "I should charge for book releases."
Attendance ShortfallMVA meeting called by Shiv Sena UBT on Wednesday saw low attendance with only 50% of MLAs present, citing rain as the reason for not turning up. But, according to sources, the split and confusion in NCP was the main reason behind the low turnout. Many Congress MLAs who reached after the House got adjourned for the day, waited for 30-35mins at MCA lounge for a meeting and then started asking senior leaders about the leave of absence. Few were granted leave but when Uddhav Thackeray reached the venue, those Congress MLAs were called back. One senior Congress leader who was a minister in the MVA government reached the meeting venue after all leaders went home.
Naming GamesWhat's in a name? According to BJP…"everything". As the party has apparently decided to call the new alliance INDIA by its old name -- UPA, the BJP leadership feels that by renaming the opposition alliance there is an attempt to begin the 2024 Lok Sabha campaign with a new slate. However, BJP has decided to continue calling the alliance as UPA as it has been associated with alleged corruption over the past several years and the saffron leadership doesn't want voters to forget this.
Mandi PoliticsCongress leader Rahul Gandhi was spotted in Delhi's Azadpur Mandi this week. The senior leader was in the wholesale vegetable market to raise awareness regarding the prices of tomatoes. The former Congress chief had indulged in similar antics in Himachal Pradesh ahead of assembly polls there. However, ever since his visit, videos of Himachal apple farmers in distress have been seen on social media, giving ammunition to the BJP.
Changes at GrassrootsBJP may soon change the chiefs of its district units in Uttar Pradesh. State BJP president Bhupendra Singh Chowdhary has indicated that he may very soon make these changes, keeping in mind the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The party is also planning to organise a separate workshop for district panchayat chiefs, councillors and block chiefs soon in order to reach the common people through the 'Maha Sampark Abhiyan'. These party functionaries are expected to be at the frontline as BJP seeks to secure a third consecutive term at the Centre.
Mango FestThe Shashi Tharoor annual mango and chaat party is more about those who turn up rather than the menu. It was an interesting mix but all focus was on the presence of Anil Antony who was recently made the national secretary of the BJP . There was a beeline to meet him and a senior G 20 member who was at the party quipped -- “makes sense to leave the party rather than be G20 . At least you were made national secretary while we wait to get an audience from the Gandhis."
Cyber SecurityCyber Dost, an initiative by the Ministry of Home Affairs, aims to create awareness and provide guidance on cybersecurity-related issues, shared an alert on its Twitter handle while urging people to verify the details of apps before engaging. The post included pictures of loan apps such as LendEasy-Personal Loan App and GoldLoan-Instant Loan, marked as fake loan apps. The post stated that these apps are learnt to have been hosted by hostile foreign entities. Cyber Dost urged people that in case they become a victim of such cybercrimes they can dial 1930 or visit cybercrime.gov.in to register their complaints.
Waiting PangsCongress MLAs in Maharashtra are still waiting for the reply from High Command about who will be the next leader of opposition in the state assembly. Congress has got numbers at the opposition bench post-split in the NCP. Few names were suggested to the Congress high command but no reply has come from them yet. There is a discussion among a few Congress MLAs that the high command is taking time to make their decision after two LOPs Radhakrishna Vikhepatil (Former Congress leader) and Ajit Pawar (NCP) joined the BJP. Hence, the high command doesn't want to take that risk and will select the leaders who will not follow the same path which earlier LOPs had taken. Senior leaders of Congress in the state also want party high command to change the Congress state president. Many have lobbied for that post too with Delhi leaders.
Stately AllianceCongress and Samajwadi Party may not be averse to the idea of joining hands for the forthcoming Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls. With Akhilesh Yadav expressing keenness to contest the MP polls, Congress may formulate an alliance with the SP. Congress leader Kamal Nath is also seemingly interested in joining hands with the SP with an eye on wooing the Yadav community in Madhya Pradesh and having a significant population in the neighbouring districts of Uttar Pradesh.
Carpet ConundrumThere's a renewed buzz about the Jammu and Kashmir election this year and the reason is one carpet. On his recent France trip, much of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's gifts originated from states that are coincidentally going to polls this year. Be it the 'pochampally ikat' in a sandalwood box gifted to Brigitte Macron, wife of French President Emanuel Macron, that has its origin in Telangana or the marble inlay work table gifted to Elisabethe Borne, Modi's French counterpart, which is from Rajasthan's Makrana. Both Rajasthan and Telangana are going to polls this year. So when PM Modi gifted a hand-knitted silk Kashmiri carpet to Yaël Braun-Pivet, President of French National Assembly, Lutyens insiders took a note of it, connecting it to a possible election in the union territory which is currently under President's Rule. The hand-knitted silk carpets from Kashmir have an amazingly innate attribute of displaying different colours when viewed from different angles or sides.
Rahul’s Quick FixBefore the next leg of Bharat Jodo Yatra, Rahul Gandhi is likely to seek a fix for his knee which had been giving him some trouble in the first phase of the yatra. The senior Congress leader is undergoing special Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala to get his knee fixed as soon as possible. This will be a 'ghar wapsi' of sorts for him as he was a Lok Sabha representative from the state till not long ago. The Congress is also hoping that a majority of its INDIA alliance partners will join the yatra this time around.